Stephen Fry, Beyonce, Emma Thompson, David Beckham, Ruby Wax, Demi Levato and a long list of other prominent public figures have openly discussed their challenges with depression, eating disorders, OCD, bipolar, anxiety and so forth. Sadly, some have lost their battle with mental health, such as Robin Williams, Heath Ledger, Alexander McQueen, Simone Battle, Philip Seymour Hoffman, L’Wren Scott and many more.
Popular culture is constantly spawning more “role models” and content that helps to address stigma, from vlogs, blogs, documentaries and television storylines. Despite this, mental-health issues are often misunderstood and affects people more than many employers understand, it can be debilitating, life-limiting and is still stigmatised in a way that most physical illnesses aren’t.
One in four of us will experience a mental health problem this year and it is worrying to hear that the majority of those people will experience discrimination. So when we were approached by Manchester in Mind to submit artwork for their exhibition, we were delighted with the opportunity to put forward artwork that celebrates the significance of Manchester’s minds. Manchester Mind is an independent, local charity committed to improving the lives of people with mental health needs. The aim of the exhibition itself is to them support more people and continue creating a positive future for the city.
In a previous blog, we spoke of the future of Manchester, in terms of architecture and businesses. However, we failed to mention the foundation of Manchester, the people at the end of the day, they make the city what it is. Manchester has an abundance of diverse and creative minds, as the saying goes, a happy worker is a productive worker, they are central to the success of a business.
Mental health can affect anyone regardless of gender, age, class or ethnicity. There is a broad spectrum of mental health problems, many of which aren’t outwardly obvious to the everyday person, many are good at concealing their mental illness. Not only does mental illness affect those who are suffering from it, but those around them too, such as family, friends and colleagues.
Here at Vivid, we believe that to end the stigma surrounding mental illness, it should be actively talked about, staff should feel supported, to ensure that staff aren’t afraid to acknowledge mental health. Continued pressure and having a poor work/life balance can quickly lead to burnout which reduces employee productivity, performance, creativity and morale. Staff who experience burnout, isn’t good news in any industry, even less so in an agency such as Vivid, where we rely on the hard-working, enthusiastic and creative minds of our staff members.
Whatever your stance on speaking out on mental health or other peoples motives for doing so, it does at least get the discussion started. Surely this isn’t a bad thing, as through discussion hopefully we can banish ignorance, discrimination and stigma.