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  • Writer's pictureMarianne Spiteri

Mental health during the pandemic with our staff ...

What is mental health?

“Mental health. Is defined as a state of well-being in which every individual realises his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully and is able to make a contribution to her or his community.”

(World Health Organisation. 2014)

It is shown by:

  • The way we think

  • The way we feel

  • Our sense of wellbeing


I attended a half day workshop via zoom with MHFA England yesterday (Mental Health First Aider England);

To be a Mental Health First Aider you are there to support not to Fix that’s for the professionals. One of the suggestion is a 10 minutes conversation with someone who is distressed can make all the difference between life or death. At this moment in time, a phone call!

On this Monday morning at 7.30am I received a message from one of my coaching clients that a member of his staff had committed suicide on Sunday evening; a mother of two, a top member of their staff who everyone went to with their problems and support, who I had had the privilege of coaching only once as she felt she couldn’t make time for herself as well as home schooling, and having a full time job from home during the pandemic.

This has left me to reflect, this is the first time I have had one of my client’s commit suicide and I am wondering what more I could have done? What more could am employer do? What are the signs?

In the course yesterday; they give you an outline of looking for changes in someone who is depressed, for example in a work situation a member of your staff; change in their clothing, hygiene, eating habits, alcohol intake, sleep, time keeping, attendance, friendships, to name a few ... What about NOW while we are in lockdown, working from home? using technology and seeing each other via a screen from our own homes or phone; can we see the changes? Are the changes noticeable because our circumstances are different at the moment working from home i.e. Are people using their cameras so you can see their faces?

My message in this blog is, when you ask your colleagues, “how are you today?” Don’t just ask them once, ask them again, twice and really ask them and listen. In today’s society we use ‘how are you?’As a matter of saying ‘hi’ not really listening and not expecting someone to say how they really are!

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