The Millennials Series: Being Vulnerable

With how hectic life has been, it’s been a few months since I’ve had the motivation to sit down and write.

Last week I stood up in front of a group of my colleagues and was completely vulnerable as I told them my story of living with mental illness. I was extremely nervous and was unsure of how my colleagues would react with it being such a sensitive topic – and they loved it! I explained how having a hobby, in my case, powerlifting has actually improved my mental health and my sales skills.

The reason for this? We work in the accounting industry.  The concerning thing is that in the accounting industry in Australia we do not have any statistics on the number of people in this industry who live with mental illness. One region which does have statistics on this is the UK.

“Nearly a third of accountants (30.4%) suffer from mental health issues, with more than half (51%) admitting depression and anxiety leaves them dreading going to work” – Institute of Chartered Accountants England and Wales

Did you know that spending time on an activity that you enjoy can improve your mental health and wellbeing? Research has actually shown that people who have a hobby are less likely to suffer from stress, low mood, and depression.

So what can we do to help educate others within the industry?

  • Pay attention to all interactions we have, as the underlying tone of the other’s voice, use of words, or body language can reveal that not everything is as it seems.
  • Feel confident to ask our colleagues and others around us if their behaviour has changed, and provide them with resources to help improve their lives.
  • Encourage everyone to find a hobby that they are passionate about and to talk about it, as you never know who might have the same hobby, or be interested in finding out more about it.

Most of all, don’t be scared to share your story and be vulnerable. We all need to work together to continue breaking the stigma around mental illness.

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