Early intervention resources
I’ve been working as a packer in a warehouse for the last 4 years. Several things can happen during a shift which can mess up your rate of productivity, with the most common being spilled liquids. I’ve only experienced this a few times as I enjoy staying focused on my tasks and believe for the most part, I’m doing a good job. In the past, my mental health would interfere with my focus at work. I used to assume that what was going on in my head was the same for others and I would just try and push through it. When I’m in that state, I start to worry too much about being judged wrongly at work as a poor performer and then I take this home with me and start feeling incredibly low about myself. Over the years, my mental health has seen peaks and troughs along the way, especially when I’m feeling stressed about my work.
My turning point for seeking help was after finally seeking help and understanding that what I’d been experiencing was both manic and depressive episodes*. It was my supervisor at the time who suggested I get some help as they saw changes in how I was behaving, from one extreme to another. They gave me some resources that showed me how I could make contact with and gain professional support. They also made a point of following up with me. A few days after this, I could hardly get out of bed and was taken to hospital where a psychiatrist diagnosed me with bipolar disorder. At first, that was quite confronting and I wasn’t sure what that meant, but my psychiatrist explained it to me and how it can be effectively managed. Since then, I’ve been steady on medication and have a good wellbeing plan in place to help me stay balanced and healthy. I’ve found out my triggers and know what to do when I recognise my symptoms, which has helped to build my confidence. I know now to ask for help when I need it as well as ask for time to recover following an episode. My supervisor has been a big help by checking in on me regularly to see how I’m going, and this helps to reassure me about my employment as well as making me feel valued and appreciated where I work.