Spotting the signs

There are many signs and symptoms to highlight a mental health issue, and these vary from person to person. Here, we highlight some of the warning signs. Could this be you, or somebody you work with?

Most people think that mental health problems are rare, and something that happen to other people. However, one in four of us will experience poor mental health in our lifetimes. An estimated 300,000 people lose their jobs each year through long term mental health problems1. Being able to spot the warning signs means we can take action before a more serious situation develops. And this doesn't just apply to signs we can spot in ourselves. Spotting the warning signs in a friend or colleague could change their lives.

Many of us know to look out for behavioural changes. If a person is experiencing unexplained changes in mood, erratic thought patterns and behaviours and they have a lack of interest in socialising, then they might have a mental health problem.

“Do you feel hopeless?”, “are you performing at work?” and “have you lost interest in doing things?” are familiar questions asked of us when assessing mental health.

But you could be socialising as normal, performing perfectly at work only to experience unexplained physical symptoms or even pain, such as headaches or back problems. These could point towards a mental health illness, typically depression.

Seven physical symptoms that point to possible mental health concern

Did you know that for many people with bad mental health, they feel bad physically before they are diagnosed? Here are some of the physical signs that you can spot in yourself or on somebody around you. If you or someone you work with is experiencing any of these symptoms, and there doesn't seem to be any physical explanation, it's time to make an appointment with a GP and investigate other possible causes, such as depression, anxiety, or stress.

  • Nausea
  • Back pains
  • Joint pains
  • Tight chest
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Headaches and migraines
  • Lethargy

Are you ready to get the most out of your work-life balance and start thriving at work? Download our Thriving at Work Guide by completing the form to the right and receive your copy right away.

To help you navigate the world of mental health, we've created three handy infographics. Click the buttons below to grab your copies.


1. Source: CIPD Report on Wellbeing at Work

Vittoria Gallagher

Vittoria Gallagher

As corporate copywriter, Vittoria is responsible for the content produced by the marketing team; everything from editorials to social media.

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