Mental Health, we are not robots … yet!

Matt Tett

Matt Tett is the Managing Director of Enex TestLab, an independent testing laboratory with over 22 years history and a heritage stemming from RMIT University. Matt holds the following security certifications in good standing CISSP, CISM, CSEPS and CISA. He is a long standing committee member of the Australian Information Security Association (AISA), Melbourne branch, and is also a member of the Information Systems Audit and Control Association (ISACA). Enex TestLab can be found at blog at and can be found on twitter as @enextestlab.

Mental Health is something that all enterprises, indeed all individuals, need to be aware of and have practices and policies in place to pro-actively identify, and address, before it becomes a major issue.

Early detection and key indicator signs should be a critical factor in any periodic human resources review. Executives and management need to be informed and educated on identifying key signs of their staff’s mental health. Clear procedures should be in place to handle the circumstances when early indicators are triggered.

All too often, the balance between work, family, and other life pressures and stresses can take its toll on humans, until the inevitable point comes when it gives way entirely. Unfortunately, it is often without those individuals even being aware of it themselves.

Understanding is critical; unless someone has been through it themselves it is very difficult to be empathetic towards others. However, we need to listen and try to understand what it could be like for those who are living with it.

Mental Health is often seen as a taboo subject; many people have been trained to consider it as a sign of weakness in themselves, or of being unable to handle the rigors thrown at them daily, when others seem able to cope. This then leads to an unwillingness to communicate such feelings to family or peers. The bottom line is that no one should be expected to cope – it’s not a race or achievement!

I, personally, can assure you that we all will go through too much at various points in our lives – being unable to cope mentally is not a weakness, it is normal – we are not built to cope 100% of the time. I have been through it and have been affected by others with it.

If you feel under too much pressure and don’t want to communicate with colleagues, family or friends then visit your GP who will make the appropriate referrals.

Ideally, factors need to be identified and circumvented early, before it’s too late and becomes something more sinister. Sometimes we if we cannot see it in ourselves and then others around us need to be equipped to identify the indicators and help.

Great resources are provided by organisations such as Beyond Blue and the “R U Ok” initiative.

How does your industry, organisation, and family, rank on proactive mental health awareness, and mechanisms for support and handling once identified?

Tags: Mental Health, IT Security, beyond blue, “R U Ok”, Industrie Leaders, Managment Team

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