Just recently, one of my colleagues at work told me about how someone died from overworking themselves. It shocked me to the core! It left me with many questions. I had to take some time to process all this. At first, I thought it was a joke, but when the details emerged – my jaw dropped and I had a sick feeling in my stomach.

This particular person was working 12 hours at night, heavy labour and very few breaks – if any. She had just finished her shift and was on her bus home. The lady that sat next to her was ready for her stop and asked her if she could pass but she had not responded. Then came a tap on the shoulder, assuming she was fast asleep. And another firm tap came. Again – no response. Concerned for the lady, the rest in the bus beckoned to the driver of the situation and it was then revealed that she had died.

I’m not exactly sure what happened after that. But this really hit me. Firstly, because I have been known to overwork myself even when I should be relaxing. I was working every day of the week however, my sleep was not really affected as much but still. The idea that something like that could happen is really disheartening. I know from watching documentaries that some countries like Japan have the same problem, driving many to suicides or death from overwork.

Documentaries stories does not prepare you when you hear it first-hand from someone you know. Its a whole new experience – its like you’re somehow involved in the situation.

Please, if you know anyone who is in a similar situation either to make more money or to due to work demands – tell them its not worth their health. The reality is that this money will end up financing their end of life care. Our mental health is just as important as our physical health. So why treat them differently? Looking after ourselves can be difficult at times but it doesn’t have to be.