8 Ways to Make a Successful Workplace Mental Health Program

Matthew Shaw Journalist, Editor and University of Michigan Fellow


Original Article Published on HuffingtonPost.com


It was just two years ago, sitting at the BBC’s news desk in London, when I knew I couldn’t carry on. I couldn’t function. I couldn’t deal with anyone or anything else. I was so tired – that’s the only way I can describe it – tired, lost, heartbroken by life. I hated everything about myself and felt I deserved that hate and the loneliness I saw myself enduring. I gave in to a horrible darkness.

It wasn’t work, it wasn’t my personal life, it wasn’t my finances and it wasn’t the job. It was all those things. I had lost all my resilience to life’s challenges; but to recognize that in a busy, stressful working environment was very hard.

I know now this was depression. I’d had it before in my twenties but hadn’t acknowledged it. Back then I just didn’t want to be “that” kind of person. Journalists are brave, cynical and tireless. They report on other people’s misery. Their own sadness or weakness has no place in the newsroom.

We spend most of our waking hours at work – now I have found a chance to make any workplace better for the millions of people like me. As a Visiting Fellow at the University of Michigan Depression Center, I have spent time learning about the current research of some of this country’s leading mental health experts and scientists.