You might have read the news - Malcolm Anderson, a Cardiff lecturer, being so overworked, he died due to suicide (https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-south-east-wales-44389004). That story shook me to the core. He too, I thought. He too could not see a way out of this. He wasn't the only person I know who worked in the Higher Education Sector and suffered mental health problems. Not all of us suffer them as a result of overwork. No, there are other reasons, and often the work environment is just one, but significant contributing factor to larger issues. But burn outs are a regular occurrence, and I too was nearly there a few years ago. Today I sat over my desk and cried because I couldn't see a way of getting all the work done that needed to be done. Proper anxiety reared its ugly head again. And then I thought: no, stop. If it cannot be done, it cannot be done. I am, after all, surprisingly, only human.
So, partially to raise awareness about the detrimental effects on our mental health that the changes in the Higher Education Sector have brought about, I decided to work to contract and raise some money in the meantime. I am raising the money for Mind, Manchester.
I will work to contract 7.5 hours/ day, i.e. 37. 5 hours/week in the weeks starting 1st April and 8th April 2019 and will blog daily about what working to contract does to my mental health. Will my anxiety become worse as work is not being done? Or will I become more effective and I get all the work done? Will I experience this as liberating, perhaps?
Well, come back and see. :-)
Manchester Mind is an independent, local charity, which supports over 5000 young people and adults each year. We believe that everyone deserves to be supported in their mental health needs and we have a part to play in that. Our charity values the commitment of our staff and volunteers, who work hard to ensure services are delivered in a way that enables people to feel heard and involved. Donations and help from our fantastic supporters make a real difference, so thank you for being part of our success this year.