There’s a danger that mental health is just a fashionable topic and that people say they understand it when they really don’t, says entrepreneur Laura Wolfe.
The founder and managing director of events agency Wolfe experienced post-natal depression after the birth of her son.
“The attitude to mental health right now is mixed,” she told BusinessCloud.
“It’s becoming less taboo and more people are actually talking about it but I do wonder if it’s one of those things that’s ‘fashionable’, and whether people really understand the issues or just say they do.”
What she does not doubt, however, is how prolific the problem is.
“It amazes me how many fellow businesspeople have experience of mental health issues, either personally or with a colleague or friend,” she added.
“It’s one of those things that no one used to talk about. The spectrum of mental health problems is so vast and sometimes difficult to understand for those who haven’t experienced it.”
There are steps that businesses can take to create a safer space and supportive environment for those with mental health problems, she says.
“Talk more. Open up more. Ensure people understand that it’s okay and they aren’t weird and that it’s okay not to be okay sometimes.”
By speaking at the event, Wolfe hopes the experience will help others – and also help her own battle.
“I hope sharing my story will help others,” she said.
“Many people spend so much time pretending everything is great and just keeping on that everyone starts to believe it and it becomes more and more difficult to talk about it. I also think sharing will help me personally.
“Talking is good. You feel like you aren’t the only one going through all of this stuff. It’s hard keeping up the positive front all the time, when sometimes you’re crumbling inside.”
The event, held in conjunction with business psychologists Carter Corson, will take place at KPMG’s offices in Manchester.