It happened in an instant. The speeding motorcycle slammed into the back of a delivery truck. It happened so quickly that there was no avoiding the accident. The motorcycle was going too fast, and the truck was traveling too slow.

My wife witnessed this horrible event yesterday when she was a passenger in a car right behind the motorcycle. While she didn’t know either the truck or motorcycle driver, she was visibly shaken as she witnessed the aftermath on a busy road. The biker’s helmet and shoes had both flown off during impact and his bloody skin was exposed through his ripped clothing. He was begging for people to move him off the hot pavement. Thankfully, law enforcement and medical professionals arrived quickly. Their rapid response and knowledge may have saved his life.

Sometimes a few seconds is all it takes for bodily injury or an accident to occur.

However, there are other types of injury that aren’t as quick to appear like the aftermath of a motorcycle accident. It’s not as easy to identify them because they take time to develop, and the signs can be hidden. These are the internal injuries related to a person’s mental health and well-being. The causes can be so different and affect people in a myriad of ways. The symptoms can appear so slowly and subtly.

Unlike the accident my wife observed, the victim may not ask for help. While organizations should always make it a priority, May is Mental Health Awareness Month which is a great reminder to keep tabs on the health of your team and others in your life. Below are a few common signs that someone might be struggling and needing help. There’s a complete list at https://www.nami.org/about-mental-illness/warning-signs-and-symptoms/

·      Excessive worrying or fear

·      Feeling excessively sad or low

·      Confused thinking or problems concentrating and learning

·      Extreme mood changes, including uncontrollable “highs” or feelings of euphoria

·      Prolonged or strong feelings of irritability or anger

·      Avoidance of friends and social activities

·      Difficulties understanding or relating to other people

·      Inability to carry out daily activities or handle daily problems and stress

It would be difficult to recognize these symptoms without having regular contact. Conscientious leaders are tuned in to those around them and check in regularly with those who may be suffering. They communicate available resources that can provide confidential help and support. They take time out every day to simply ask questions like; “How are you doing? Is there any way I can support you today? Do you need to take some time to pause to regain your stride?”

When accidents or mental health issues occur, it’s not just the victim that suffers. Make workplace wellness and positive mental health a priority for your organization.

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