Some of our own posts and our guest posts are a little lighter hearted in nature, dealing with ridiculous dress codes, badly judged e-mails or ways you can identify when you’ve been in local government too long. We love sharing them too, so if you’ve got something you want to say then e-mail it to us at firstname.lastname@example.org
However, we are not shy of addressing some more serious issues affecting the lives of local government officers, and today’s guest post does just that. We hope you read it and understand a little more about the issues it discusses by the end than you might have at the beginning.
Cost. That has become a bit of a dirty word in the office these days: how much money something costs, how much time it costs, how much energy it costs to get things done.
These costs are generally speaking organisational, and are usually relatively straightforward to quantify. However, a major area of cost which never finds its way onto any balance sheets is the cost to people, and even when certain costs are accounted for there is one glaring omission – the cost to ones mental health.
Mental health is something so often misunderstood, even by those who mean well. Some feel they are understanding people, who will do all they can to support someone through their mental health battles with the idea that it can be beaten and overcome, put in the past and moved on from.
Others take the opposite tack, trying to treat them as they would anyone else and not making a big issue out of it in the hope that distraction with other ‘more important and urgent’ issues will put mental health firmly in its place at the bottom of any priority list.
For those of us in local government these are incredibly stressful and difficult times. Even the most stoic and mentally healthy person can find themselves wobbling at the moment; tempers fraying, long silences growing, work and relationships suffering as the constant and increasing pressures and responsibilities are placed upon them.
For those of us who were fighting mental health problems even during the ‘good old days’ of local government, things can be a fair bit harder. (more…)