When he stepped into the ring at the end of 2018 Tyson Fury was as much a symbol of mental health resurrection as he was as a British boxing icon. His unexpected draw against Deontay Wilder was a real testimony to his own personal victory against his mental health demons.
“I ain’t a special human being,” Fury said afterwards, “I’m just a normal man. But with the right help and the right guidance, anyone can turn their life around.”
It was a special performance though, as Fury confirmed that his triumph over his mental health demons far outweighed his comeback in the ring that night. He wasn’t afraid to ask for help when he needed it the most.
Approximately 1 in 4 people in the UK suffer from some form of mental health issue every year. That means that someone in your life could be suffering right now whether you know it or not. There is no specific type of person that mental health issues can affect and the contributing factors are as varied as those who suffer. Work, family or money stress, social anxiety or physical trauma are just some of the more common catalysts to becoming unwell.
Everyone and anyone, from those of us working 9-5 to ‘A list’ stars can all be affected in one way or another. It’s not just Tyson Fury that is making his condition public. Many more celebrities are advocates for mental health awareness and are campaigning to open a dialogue with those suffering, to show they are not alone in their battle.
That being said, try to be mindful if you notice a friend or family member acting ‘out of sorts’ for a prolonged period of time. If you are able to notice the signs early, their condition may be more manageable, allowing the sufferer to recover faster. The symptoms of some mental health issues can be found below:
• Confused thinking
• Prolonged depression, sadness or irritability
• Feelings of extreme highs and lows
• Excessive fears, worries and anxieties
• Social withdrawal
• Dramatic changes in eating or sleeping habits
• Strong feelings of anger
• Strange thoughts (delusions)
• Seeing or hearing things that aren't there (hallucinations)
• Growing inability to cope with daily problems and activities
• Suicidal thoughts
• Numerous unexplained physical ailments
• Substance use
Up to 10% of the UK population will experience depression at some point in their lifetime. Statistics show that mixed anxiety and depression is the most common disorder in the UK with 7.8% of people meeting the diagnosis criteria. Mixed anxiety and depression has been estimated to cause one fifth of days lost from work in the UK.
A promising development in terms of mental health is the changing attitude towards mental illness. A public campaign called ‘Time to Change’ was launched in 2009 by leading charities Mind and Rethink. To make the subject more approachable. They hold a ‘Time To Talk’ day each year to raise awareness and encourage people to take action, whether on social media or by visiting a friend ‘in need’ for a chat. This year’s event will be held on the 7th of February.
A little effort from the people around those suffering can go a long way to show that they are not alone in their recovery. The latest results from the ‘National Attitudes to Mental Illness Survey’, released in 2018, showed that people's attitudes towards mental illnesses improving. Which we can all agree is a good thing.
Thankfully there are also several excellent online sources and helplines for those in real need. The links below provide invaluable support and guidance for a wide range of issues –
Mental illness is usually not straightforward, and sometimes not recognised or accepted at all. But as times are changing, we are all becoming more aware and understanding of the problem. We are learning how to deal with these issues. Physical injuries require a Doctor, so why not mental ones too?
With many conditions now being widely recognised by the general public and support more readily available, hopefully gone are the days of being told to ‘snap out of it’ and ‘pull yourself together’. Mental health is a real and accepted challenge for many people and we need to help where we can.
At Culina Group, we genuinely empathise with any member of staff who may be experiencing significant mental health challenges. We as a business want it to be known that they are not alone, that it is ok to discuss these problems, and that we are ready to help find support. If you feel that you need support please speak to your Line Manager or HR representative (Tracie-Anne Andrews) in the first instance or contact one of the services listed above or below.
Culina Group also provide the benefit of immediate access to a free and confidential telephone counselling and legal information service that operates 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to all of our employees via the ‘hapiBenefits’ scheme.
The service's experienced, professional counsellors can help with a wide range of problems at any time of the day or night. The counsellor will ensure that you have the time to talk through your concerns and feelings, helping you to clarify the practical and emotional issues and providing information when appropriate. No information on any calls will be fed back to the company unless there is a serious risk of harm to yourself or others.
Staff are able to access an online support web portal, filled with useful information to help them with balancing their home life, work life and emotional health. Please ask your Line Manager or HR representative for details in confidence.
The web portal also includes a ‘Health Risk Assessment’ tool, which will provide employees with a comprehensive assessment of your overall health.
Culina Group are nothing without our staff and we are here to aid with support through any tough times you may be facing.