Contracting and Mental Health

With the pressures of working life ever increasing, it is no great surprise that Mental Health is now the number one reason for staff absence in the workplace. Latest figures suggest that mental health days currently account for over 15 million days of absence, per annum.
We all know that mental health has a variety of symptoms – depression, anxiety and stress being some of the most common. The leading factors that cause depression are related to vocation and employment but, as symptoms are becoming widely recognized and stigmas are steadily begin to dissolve, advice and guidance is becoming more readily available and easier to process (if you need any resources please be in touch).

Often, a change working environment can serve as a boost to motivation and lead to a positive change into your own self-image. Contracting can be rewarding as it offers you the freedom to structure your life that best suits your working style. Who doesn’t want to choose when they work and what projects to get involved in?

However the hectic lifestyle of completion deadlines, finding your next project and going “over and above” what is asked of you to secure that next contract has the capability of affecting your mental wellbeing negatively.
We want you to know that we are here to support you. At Healthchart, we’re very conscious of the mental health of our employees and the benefits of self-care, so we are taking a proactive stance. We have 2 qualified senior managers that are now certified Mental Health First Aiders. We asked them for a few pointers about creating balance and maintaining a healthy mindset:

  • You are in the privileged position that you have the flexibility to choose when you work. Use this to your advantage, take time out to meet with family and friends.
  • Take holidays or breaks between contractors, take this time to recharge your batteries, it can be tempting to take the next contract on offer. It is a statutory requirement for permanent employees to take leave and you should ensure you do the same.
  • Keep Homeworking to a minimum, exercising your brain constantly will lead to burnout.
  • Take a break from your emails. Allocate an allotted time in the evening or even at the weekend when you will check your emails. Don’t be tempted to “quickly check on a response”, every-one needs down time.
  • Get to know your colleagues. Improving your social interaction will help you feel more relaxed and confident when dealing with hard days.
  • Get away from your desk at lunchtime. Go read a book and escape for an hour.
  • Invest in a desk tidy and incorporate your individuality to your work space, it well help organizing the chaos and bring a smile to your face when you are having a stressful day.
  • Organize your day with to do lists. Check these off as you accomplish the tasks. It will help you visualize the work you have completed that day.
  • Be realistic with your goals and expectations of yourself. You are one person, no-one is expecting you to create the moon in a day.

Today marks the start of our annual monthly “Talk to Us” Campaign. The event highlights the amazing work that the Samaritans and other charities carry out on a daily basis, supporting people in their time of need.  Find out how we can help visit: