What are mental health difficulties?

What we mean by mental health difficulties and what can help at work.

What are mental health difficulties?

The most common difficulties with mental health are those which affect our emotional wellbeing. These include depression or anxiety where people can experience symptoms such as:

  • profound sadness

  • lack of energy

  • unsettling agitation

It is important to ask for help, for example from your GP, if you are experiencing these.

Some people may also have very serious difficulties with their mental wellbeing. This may include feelings of sadness or anxiety going on for a long time, or which are overwhelming. For other people, they may have experiences where their sense of reality may be affected. They may hear voices or experience thoughts and beliefs which are not real.

If you or someone you know is experiencing these difficulties, it is very important to get help from a GP or reputable support organisations as soon as possible.

Find support organisations for mental health

Some factors which can affect our mental wellbeing may be hard for us to control, such as if we lose a job. However, there are many things we can all do to help us to maintain our mental wellbeing and deal with the difficulties life can throw at us.

What helps us to keep mentally well?

There is evidence to suggest that there are key things we can all do to give ourselves the best chance of having positive mental wellbeing and developing the resilience to face life’s challenges.

Many mental health charities now recommend techniques such as mindfulness, breathing exercises and grounding activities (that help you focus and feel grounded). Here are some examples:

Read our useful guides

In partnership with mental health charity Penumbra we have compiled two guides to accompany this web resource. These will help you to find ways to talk to your employer and support your own mental health at work.

View PDF guide Mental Health and Wellbeing Support for Apprentices

View PDF guide Looking after Mental Health at Work

Explore the rest of our Mental Health resource

What is mental health?

We all have mental health, just as we all have physical health.

Looking after your mental health at work

Work can often help our mental wellbeing. However, sometimes work brings pressures which add to mental health problems.

Talking to your employer about mental health

Advice about talking to your employer or learning provider to get mental health support.

How can your employer help you?

Employers have legal duties around mental health and can support you in many ways.

Go to start of resource

You'll find links to the other parts of the resource as well as a list of mental health support organisations.

Support for you - apprenticeships 2 432 x 288

If you need support

We're grateful to mental health charity Penumbra for providing advice and information on mental health for this resource. If you need support, you should contact your GP or professional mental-health support organisation.

You can find mental health organisations at the start of this resource.