Another Day in the Office

Bradley Wiggins won the 99th edition of the Tour de France yesterday – I was glued to the TV hence this post being a little late.  Over the preceding three weeks, as, together with his team mates, he cycled round France (as well as a brief visit to neighbouring Belgium), the world marvelled at the discipline, focus and mutual support that this cycling team displayed as they powered over mountains towns and villages of the home of the greatest bike race in the world. 

There’s been a lot of discussion in the press here in the U.K. about the impact that this historic victory will have on cycling here.  While many of you reading this will be doing so in countries where cycling of all kinds commuters and competitors alike, is part of the mainstream, over here it is still a minority sport (the BBC does not have TV coverage, and only the briefest of radio coverage).  If you want to follow it on the TV you have to watch it on channels you might not watch at any other time of the year.  You might say that the Tour is a three-week long interview process to be considered amongst the greats of the world of cycle sport – and some say of sport in general, so gruelling is the event.

Pundits expect that Wiggins’ success and coverage of the Team GB cycling team in the upcoming Olympic Games will see a surge in interest and participation in all forms of cycling. 

Coincidentally, this week sees the start of a series of TV programmes on mental health issues broadcast by Channel 4 – sorry overseas readers the programmes are only available to watch in the UK.  The series is called ‘Channel 4 Goes Mad’.  The centre piece of which will be recruitment process involving a number of candidates, some of whom have mental health problems.  The point is to see if people with these sort of health issues can take their place with confidence in the world of work.  You can find out more by clicking on this link:

Whilst I have some reservations about the series title, the series aims to show that having mental health problems, even severe and enduring mental health problems need not be a bar to holding down a responsible job. 

I am fortunate in the sense that my job – a part-time Peer Supporter means that I have had to have had a severe and enduring mental health condition in order to be considered for the role, and that goes for my boss, too.  Since I started work in this role in May 2012 I have not had a single day off sick.  In the past decade, which included three years off sick, I never managed a whole year at work without at least a month off work, laid low by depression.  I credit my more stable health to the inspiring nature of my work which promotes recovery amongst people who have severe and enduring mental health problems.  So, the world of work can support people’s mental health recovery.

With the right kind of supportive environment, work place awareness and reasonable adjustments (such as allowing staff to adjust work loads, curb hours temporarily) people like me can contribute to the world of work, and help support their own recovery at the same time.

Sometimes things don’t go, after all,
from bad to worse. Some years, muscadel
faces down frost; green thrives; the crops don’t fail,
sometimes a man aims high, and all goes well.
A people sometimes step back from war;
elect an honest man; decide they care
enough, that they can’t leave some stranger poor.
Some men become what they were born for.
Sometimes our best efforts do not go
amiss; sometimes we do as we meant to.
The sun will sometimes melt a field of sorrow
that seemed hard frozen: may it happen to you
Sheena Pugh (1950 – )
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2 Responses to Another Day in the Office

  1. Nikki says:

    Nice Entry Nick and I particularly love this poem. Continue to feel good my friend


  2. Great piece. I have spoken with a few people who have been on long term sick with carrying out a ‘normal’ job role, but as soon as they get into either a peer support role or mental health role they feel at home and supported by their employers because they have an understanding of what is going on. So glad that you have found your comfort zone with work and I truly hope that you enjoy it for years to come. Hugs x


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