Blue Monday trivialising mental health issues in organisations?

Blue Monday is a name given to a day in January claimed to be the most depressing day of the year, typically the third January of the month, which this year is Monday 20th January 2020.

The day is calculated using a formula that takes into account several factors which include the weather, dark nights, debt level, time passed since Christmas, time since failing new year’s resolutions and low motivational levels.

Whilst Seasonal Affective Disorder [SAD] can leave people feeling low during the winter months, there is concern that Blue Monday is a PR stunt which can trivialise more serious underlying mental health issues.  This can leave employees feeling more vulnerable and less likely to talk about their concerns.

It is reported that unexplained sick days relating to mental health cost the UK economy £1.4 billion each year as employees are uncomfortable discussing matters with their managers, so there is a financial cost associated with the stigma as well.

What is great however is that Blue Monday does provide an opportunity to highlight mental health issues in places of work and potentially break down some of the barriers surrounding depression and mental health since it gets people talking about these topics. Any tool that starts the conversation about mental health in the workplace can only be a good one.

What mental health procedures does your company have in place?

Stanley facilitates open conversations through the use of MindCheck. This is the online mental health wellbeing platform that businesses are using to help identify vulnerable team members and enable them to be supported appropriately.

Conversation with colleagues

Gain regular feedback and identify stress levels in your workplace whilst creating a healthier working culture.

Using advanced technologies, MindCheck will enable you to establish a safer environment for workers to freely discuss their emotional wellbeing – in the strictest of confidence. Those who are emotionally healthy are more productive and better placed to thrive and achieve their goals.  

It has helped us support employees who have not raised issues in a wider team situation but have felt safe enough to share through a survey.

Manager, FTSE 100 client