How leaders should talk about mental health

Employers trying to 'fix' the problem can make it worse, says mental health first aider Ian Hurst.

by Stephen Jones

To his friends Ian Hurst had everything. A successful career as a global relationships leader for a London based insurance giant, his day job consisted of travelling the world, playing golf and schmoozing at work lunches. It provided a good salary to support a good life for his wife and two daughters. 

The problem, Hurst says looking back, “I didn’t enjoy a single day I worked.”

Over those years he says he’d started to develop what he now recognises as really strong symptoms of poor metal health. He’d spend conferences and work dinners battling a constant and anxious need to get back to his hotel room, he’d feel emotionally exhausted before he even started work, and he felt an almost overwhelming feeling of social isolation, even while at home with his family. 

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