The Bank Workers Charity (BWC) is supporting this year’s 'Depression Awareness Week' campaign, #standupagainstdepression.
The campaign is for everyone who wants to save lives, and end the loneliness and isolation of depression.
Depression is a serious illness that affects 1 in 10 people at some point in their lives, yet can be difficult to understand. Depression is more than simply feeling unhappy or fed up for a few days. We can all have spells of feeling down, but when you are medically depressed, you usually feel sad for weeks or months. Depression is not trivial. It is a real illness with real symptoms and it is not usually a sign of weakness or something you can ‘snap out of’ by ‘pulling yourself together’.
City workers, especially those in the banking and financial sectors, may feel an immense pressure to ‘continue as normal’ due to the fast paced nature of their work. Whilst ignoring the problem and concentrating on your job may seem like sensible thing to do, it is important to focus on your mental wellbeing, as the symptoms of depression can be damaging to your health, work and family life.
The symptoms of depression can vary in severity. At its mildest, you may simply feel low most of the time. At its most severe, depression can be life-threatening, making you feel suicidal and that life is no longer worth living. If you start feeling low for an extended length of time, it is best to speak to your GP, even if you are unsure whether any treatment will help. The sooner you seek treatment, the sooner your feelings of depression can be alleviated.
Despite depression being so common, it can be difficult to know who to turn to for help, especially when the symptoms are severe. The Bank Workers Charity are here to support you. It is the only charity dedicated to supporting bank workers in the UK, and provide advice and guidance on a range of topics, such as guides on what depression is, the symptoms of depression and a guide to living with depression.
If you require more personalised assistance, the Charity also provides a helpline to current and former bank workers and their families, staffed by specially trained advisers on 0800 0234 834, 9-5 Monday to Friday.
For the Depression Awareness Week campaign, the Charity is asking its supporters to post pictures of themselves on Twitter or Facebook, holding a sign with the hashtag #standupagainstdepression to raise awareness of the condition, and encouraging others to donate to Depression Alliance.
If you are depressed, or know somebody that is, it is important to be aware of the support networks that are available. As well as the BWC's resources, there are also services dedicated purely to depression and mental illness, such as the charities Mind and Depression Alliance.
We hope you will join the campaign to #standupagainstdepression.
Please follow BWC on Twitter, and tweet your pictures to @bwcharity, where we will be retweeting pictures, advice and guidance throughout the week.