The Architects Benevolent Society (ABS), with the support of the RIBA, has launched a support network for architects and others in the profession struggling with mental health problems. You might have read about it in AJ.
It’s no secret that, starting from your first year in architectural education, you are under pressure to perform well, work long hours, and commit yourself to, what ultimately is, a way of life – an architect’s life. Some cope better than others but I’ve yet to meet a person who hasn’t, at least once, struggled to keep calm with a deadline looming. We over-invest in our projects regularly and every single detail has to meet our own, possibly unrealistically high, standard. No wonder that The AJ 2017 Life in Practice survey results revealed that mental health is the biggest single worry for respondents aged under 30, with 38 per cent saying it was their largest workplace concern.
Many people find their own ways of coping, but some need support to manage these feelings and to get the balance right. If you struggle, please do get in touch with ABS on firstname.lastname@example.org or 020 7580 2823. In collaboration with Anxiety UK, Abs now offers access to a range of support, including helpline support, email support, wellbeing assessment, and one-to-one therapy (counselling, CBT – Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, clinical hypnotherapy, acupuncture) via a network of carefully approved professionals. They might also suggest you join Anxiety UK, which also comes with a subscription to Headspace – a wonderful mindfulness app which I highly recommend.
We hope that the profession will help reduce the stigma associated with mental health and openly discus support options for those in need. We are excited that the RIBA has recognised the importance of the scheme and we are grateful for their support.