Sarah Barnes Talks Openly About Mental Health

This year for Mental Health Awareness week the Mental Health Foundation are focussing on stress. Research has shown that 16 million people experience a mental health problem each year, and stress is a key factor in this. By tackling stress, we can go a long way to tackle mental health problems such as anxiety and depression, and, in some instances, self-harm and suicide. To bring more awareness to these issues we have asked some of our leadership team to talk about how they feel about mental health and how they handle stress in their day to day lives.

Sarah Barnes – Programme Information Manager:

“The subject of mental health is one very close to my heart as I have friends and family that have struggled with mental health issues. Throughout my career and everyday day life I too have had situations where I have felt overwhelmed, stressed and depressed, with a feeling of no way out of my situation. This experience felt extremely lonely and isolating, as I did not want to voice my issues and seem weak or vulnerable in any way. It turns out when you are going through a stressful situation, these feelings are extremely normal. The most important thing you can do is talk to someone about it and ask for help. In my work situation, I learned that I am just as important if not more than a project or a piece of work, and my bosses and teams agreed with that statement. I think we all aim to be the perfect manager, the perfect employee and the perfect partner, but nobody is expecting this of you except yourself. Burning myself out does not make me a productive person and not getting enough sleep does not give me the energy or drive to do my job well. Most importantly taking work stresses home with me with no respite whatsoever, does not help me solve the problems. I am lucky to be part of a company that recognises when people are overwhelmed or stressed and takes action to support their employees. My best advice to maintain good mental health is to keep talking and ask for help.” #letstalk

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