I’m finding it hard to cope at work – what can I do?

Did you know, you’re probably not the only one. In our study of the creative, media and marketing industry, we found that more than half of us displayed signs of mild to severe anxiety and depression. Look around you – chances are that someone near you may also be feeling the same. We work in a fast-paced, erratic industry where what you planned to do by the end of the day can all go to sh!t by lunchtime.

Everything from long hours, a lack of meaningful work, and a feeling that you have no control over what you do can all affect your mental health. Some days may be easier or worse than others. However, if you’re consistently feeling down, unmotivated, agitated, or worthless for longer than 2 weeks, there’s a chance that something more serious could be at play.

Unfortunately, our industry can be hazardous when it comes to our mental health.  You may think that being in meetings all day or behind a desk is pretty safe.  But, while we might not fall foul of heavy lifting or injuries from dangerous tools, your mental health could be deteriorating.  You may be surprised how many people have a story. And guess what? It’s ok to do something about it. In exactly the same way that you can injure a limb or have an upset stomach, you may need to treat your mental health.

This page is designed specifically for you. It links to resources and advice that can help you to take control of your mental health. Of course, if the situation is more serious a webpage might not be the best solution. So click here and call one of the numbers that have an expert on the other end of the line.

A good start is to self-assess. You can visit the resources below to complete a brief survey to help understand what it is that might be affecting your mental health.

Self-assessment test for anxiety
Self-assessment test for depression

The Black Dog Institute are one of the leading mental health organisations in Australia. Their tests have been compiled and evaluated by doctors and academics. While it won’t surprise you that an online survey can’t diagnose and treat you, it’s a good way to quickly understand if what you’re feeling may warrant some more professional support.

Black Dog have  developed a program called MyCompass. It can also assess your condition and includes a personalised program and activities that you can follow to begin taking your mental health into your own hands. If you’re into tracking and graphs it will give those to you as well so you can keep an eye on if your condition is improving over time.

Seeking professional help is a good idea. If you’re in Australia, you most likely qualify for a Medicare mental health care plan through your GP. It’s a common and easy way that many of us started with to get professional support. Once you’re on the plan, you may receive free or subsidised sessions with a therapist – all thanks to Medicare. Headspace have written a handy summary on how it works.

“It’s ok to not be ok.”

Looking after yourself

You may not know it, but your physical health can affect your mental health and vice versa.  You may think that working weekends and pulling all-nighters is good for our career, but it’s slowly damaging our mental and physical health.

Forfeiting the gym for work, sleep for work, seeing family and friends for work is going to take its toll. The stories of burnout in our industry are rife. From the extreme of hospitalisation, to an overwhelming number of stories telling of workplaces giving employees time off to recover after a big project, it’s clear that this way of working isn’t sustainable in the long-term.

Treating work like an extreme sport, may sound fun, but it’s got a short shelf-life. The links in this section will take you to advice and stories of how to cope, how to say no, and how to stay healthy in an industry that we all love.

“Burnout is a bitch. You don’t know it until you stop. You get so caught up in trying to succeed that you don’t see what it’s doing to you until it’s too late.”
“Getting help, meansgetting better.”

More Resources

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