Dogged by nut’ label
MANY things put me in the mood for lurve – the waft of a certainain aftershave, the scent of red roses or the crackling of a roaring openpen fire. Oh, the memories! But I can’t say I’ve ever beeneen turned on by a conker or a Bourbon finger. Yet a new survey of our“most most romantic smells” shows thee humble horse chestnut is, to some folk,olk, the olfactory equivalent of Viagra, while others get friskysky at the whiff of a biccie. Cognitive neuroscientists s say smell plays a powerful role in physic physical attraction because “when we inhalein a scent, it goes to the olfact olfactory receptor cells at the top of ou our nose then travels to the brain brain’s limbic system which controlscontr memory, emotion and mood resulting in chemical and phys physical stimulation.” Ok,Ok that explains the science. ButBu I still have no idea how conkersco drive you bonkers – or howh biscuits make you fancy a nibble.n AnswersA on a postcard, please. WINSTON Churc Churchill used to call his depression ““the black dog”. I learned that 13 years ago from a colleague helping m me talk about my own mental health. Because a black dogd had been stalking me for years – grow growling in the distance, a menacing presenc presence I was too afraid to confront. Eventually it pou pounced, knocking me flat and sinking its claws in until I had to call for help. It was clinic clinical depression and I needed to go into hospital for a while. But I had t to ask a friend to tell my boss because I w was too ashamed. I had failed. I was going to get sacked. My successful 20 20-year career would count for nothing on once they realised I was a sham – a pathetic, unreliable, nut-job. I felt so worthless I was actually hanging on to that black do dog’s collar, offering it my throat as d doctors tried to help me ki kick it off. Eve Eventually I let go. And once it had skulked away I realisedrea I hadn’t failed, I’d ju just been ill. A And I wasn’t going to lose my job because my employ employers understood. One bo boss shared his own experience an and helped me to talk while other colle colleagues were hugely supportive. But I was really lucky. Because, 13 years on, a shocking report has revealed thousands of employees HAVE lost their jobs after disclosing their mental health issues at work.
Research for charity Business in the Community found 1.2 million workers faced demotion, disciplinary action or dismissal after opening up.
Sixty per cent of UK employees have experienced stress, anxiety or depression. And while 53 per cent feel comfortable talking about mental health at work, 15 per cent have been penalised for doing so. Their bosses should be ashamed.
Employers know they are responsible for staff wellbeing yet just 24 per cent of line managers have received training in mental health issues – training they would welcome.
Why aren’t firms providing that at the same time as physical first aid training?
BITC’s Louise Aston says: “It’s time to challenge the myth that having a mental health issue equates to poor performance” and equip managers with the skills to help staff stay in work thrive.
My bosses did that for me 13 years ago and, while the black dog has nipped my heels once or twice since, I now know I can get help fighting it off.
Employers MUST take the lead to shift workplace attitudes – and stop hounding sick staff out of their jobs.