Tough Times: Are you mental?

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It's been said that everyone in the oil and gas industry this year has had one of these three experiences: redundancy, threat of redundancy or the guilt of still having a job when your mates have lost theirs.  Tea Shack News spoke to several people who have some experience in this area and can help you cope with redundancy, boost morale offshore and help you with what to do next...

"Redundancy, or even the threat of redundancy, can have a significant effect on the mental health of the person involved.  So much of our identity is bound up in what we do for a living, that we often confuse who we are with what we do.  So taken together with the loss of regular income and financial security, it's not surprising that redundancy can lead to a sense of loss.

"Change is stressful, and as redundancy leads to changes in social contacts, daily routines, living arrangements and financial outlook, it can be expected that people will feel anxious, have low moods, not sleep or lose their concentration.  This is unpleasant, but normal. 

"There's truth in the old saying 'a problem shared is a problem halved'.  The best thing is to talk to someone, preferably someone in the same situation.  Sharing the experiece can contain the enormity of change, and bring social and professional contacts to people.  If the feelings of low mood and anxiety were to persist, then it can be worthwhile to speak to your GP. 

"One of the best things to do is develop a strategy which can take the stress off redundancy.  A focused activity can really help and there are some apps and online resources which can help. 

"All-in-all, redundancy is stresful and a stress response, to a greater or less degree, is to be expected.  However, there are things we can do to help deal with this: talk to people (mates, medic, HSE contact, GP), and take steps to reduce the impact that stress may have.  Don't keep it bottled up!" - Steve Smith, Lecturer in Mental Health and Wellbeing, Robert Gordon University