Movember: Truth Behind The Tash

At the end of this November, all the Label Apeel men have much warmer upper lips and have had to go up a belt hole due to all the bake sale goodies that have been on offer to raise money for Movember. However, it’s easy to get so caught up in jokes about patchy ‘taches that we forget what Movember is all about.

It’s easy to mistake signs of poor mental health with people not taking their work seriously. It’s frustrating when colleagues are irritable or just not concentrating to the same extent that they were previously. Errors slipping through the net, missing deadlines, or something as simple as a less enthusiastic hello as they walk in the office, can make your job considerably harder and generally bring down the mood of the office. However, getting frustrated at this, or potentially pushing back at people for their seeming lack of care or attention is negligent. No-one comes to work to do a bad job, especially if they have been consistently performing well up to this point. It’s here that we need to look into the reason behind this change. It’s only by encouraging them to open up and getting to the root cause of the issue, that this person will be able to return, perhaps better than ever, to doing their job.

Some signs are easier to spot than others, it doesn’t take someone with a degree in psychology to know that when someone visibly showing sadness it’s a clear sign that they’re not in a good way. However, there are more subtle things to look out for too - did they always used to get a bacon cob on a Friday as a treat, whereas now they can barely stomach their lunch? Or do they seem much more jittery and on edge? Ignoring these early signs can mean things spiral out of control and end up in a place that is much harder to come back from.

Often when people are feeling low, they turn to alcohol or drugs as an escape. This can be especially hard to spot as in the majority of cases it takes place outside the workplace and will manifest as a gradual change. A glass of wine to take the edge off, then it’s two and over time it slips into a state of dependency. It can be a very awkward topic to broach, as no one feels they have the right to police what someone does outside of work hours. But, if you notice warning signs like drowsiness, a sudden change in mood or memory loss, this can be a great opportunity to either talk to them directly or signpost them to professional help.

At Label Apeel we are very proud to offer free and confidential counselling sessions, allowing all of our employees access to as much help as they need. We also offer free access to hypnotherapy-based counselling, which allows people to open up their mind and try to find their own solution to whatever they are struggling with. Free physiotherapy is also available to aid any physical issues, which as we know this can play a contributing role to people’s mental state. Print is changing, and quickly, but we still must accept that we are an industry with a male majority, and therefore we must play a leading role in active change to reduce the staggering and unacceptable rates of male suicide.

It comes down to one simple fact, we spend a huge percentage of our time at work with our colleagues. For some people they won’t have anyone else in their life that would be in a position to spot signs of poor mental health. If it was our brother, son, or father we would want someone to step in before its too late, so let’s all aim to be that person for someone around us, long after these god-awful moustaches are rinsed down the sink.