Mental health in the workplace … tricky conversation, right?

Thankfully, despite all the bullshit that the past year or so has handed us, the stigma around mental health chatter is starting to dissipate. (and I mean, like, JUST starting).


Autism UK defines neurodiversity as “the diversity of human brains and minds, the infinite variation in neurocognitive functioning within our species”

Neurodivergence actually encompasses a bunch of different mental functions, illnesses and disorders - Bipolar Disorder, Borderline Personality Disorder, Autism, Depression, and ADHD (The list goes on and on and on.)

Over the past few years alone, there has been a major increase in people paying attention to their mental health and neurodiversity - the likes of creators on Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok spreading awareness on all thing’s mental health.


Many creators dedicate their content to educating and informing their audiences - to say it’s successful is an understatement. (I’ve even learned things I’ve then gone on to discuss with my mental health practitioners!)

Okay, but what does this have to do with working?

We often see or hear way too much chatter about how employing somebody who is neurodiverse or struggles with mental health can result in financial or workplace strain (which is ridiculous, might I add)

But where is the discussion about the benefits of having a team jam-packed full of different ways of viewing the world?!

Neurodiversity is talent!

Neurodiversity is talent, and quite frankly, a competitive advantage in terms of business. (Being neurotypical is the equivalent of being hearing-aid beige, no offence.)

Over 15% of people in the UK are neurodiverse – how has it taken a worldwide pandemic to force the hand of businesses to rethink how and where their employees produce their work?


Our team at Lightbulb Media is essentially a Channel 4 diversity remit’s dream; we’re home to neurodiversity, the LGBTQ+ community, spicy mental diagnoses, and of course, our resident white guy. (We love you, Lewis!)

What I’m trying to say, is that our diversity is what makes us stand out.

Are we perfectly programmed robots, optimised to curate content for the masses 24/7?


Do we have the shared skillset to create banging content for our clients, drawing on our range of perspectives, opinions, and experiences?

1000% yes.

Neurodiverse talent is being a natural-born problem solver, casually innovating, understanding PPC at first glance, or it can even be hyper-fixating on AfterEffects until you’ve mastered it.

In the creative industry, It’s pretty much the dream.


Having entered the professional world with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) amid the pandemic, I think it’s safe to say I had a lot to take on board and fast.

Those of us living with BPD experience rapidly changing moods with high sensitivity - it’s basically like having an exposed nerve ending.

In terms of neurodiversity, my BPD often interferes with my concentration, motivation and execution of tasks all depending on my emotional wellbeing at the time.


I thought to myself – “Ok, I have a big adult job now, but how the fuck do I begin??”

By being able to navigate a new, full-time job in the comfort and familiarity of my flat, I was able to find my new routine whilst not being ashamed of needing to work from bed sometimes, having my partner remind me to eat, or taking those burnout breaks.

I thought to myself – “Ok, I have a big adult job now, but how the fuck do I begin??”

Although the adjustment to blended working was an odd experience, it allowed me to learn how I can become productive on my own terms.

I didn’t have to stress about masking for long periods of time, rinsing my social battery immediately or helplessly trying to cover up a looming episode.

I was just able to do things my way.


Remote working has (in my opinion, anyway) been a little victory.

  • I don’t have to feel bad for having a super shitty day mentally.

  • I can have little human contact when my social batteries are, well, battered.

  • I can ring my therapist in the comfort of my own home, without the guilt of feeling like I’m eating away at the time that could be spent being productive – I simply just finish later.


  • I can personalise a routine that works with my BPD, as opposed to against it.

So what you’re telling me is, as long as I get my to-do list scribbled out by the end of the day, I can work in whatever disorganised, half-frantic/half-slumped way works for me?


Whether you fall under the umbrella of neurodiversity or not – I’d say it’s about time each of us takes a step back and look at how we work.

Why should we give ourselves a hard time experiencing burnout whilst working 40+ hours a week??

I’ll stop blabbing on. But it would be rude if I didn’t pass on some of my top tips and tricks that have helped me work smarter!

  • Different spaces for different tasks: trust me on this one! This has helped me break up my to-do list by having visual cues i.e. downstairs = design time, upstairs = admin
  • Music or, a personal fave, podcasts: I won’t bore you by saying “they’re educational!” because let’s be real, you’re already working. Having constant, low-level auditory stimuli works great for some neurodivergent people!
  • Snacks, snacks, snacks: This one sounds a little odd. However, having a variety of flavours, textures etc, will keep you mentally stimulated! Think about it, I’m sure you associate the taste of coffee with the office and early starts, right? Mix that up, trick your brain.
  • Pomodoro Method: (25mins focused work, 5mins break) – Ask anybody in the office. You’ll see me off for a walk every half hour and return with a new cup of coffee, ready to (re)start.

Plus, having a fun wheely chair also keeps me fairly content.