When you think about Mental Health In The Workplace Mediations, who were the most influential in this field? Will they ever be outgrown?
A poll with a cross section of workers from across the UK, has found that more than half have no access to mental health support at work, or don’t know if their business has policies to support workers with mental illness. It is great when health at work and promoting wellbeing becomes part of an organisation’s culture – it helps people to engage authentically with their work and colleagues. But if the first level of connection between individual staff members and the authority of the organisation isn’t right, there is always going to be a problem. Employee wellbeing is not the sole responsibility of the employer, but given how much time people spend at work, employers certainly play an integral role. Both parties need to work together to foster a culture which encourages honesty around mental health; one which supports rather than ignores – or worse yet – penalises. Workshops that tackle stress, work-life balance and mindfulness are really popular for staff. From academic study to learning the benefits of laughing, breathing and dealing with anger to arts and crafts, workshops are a great way to build confidence at work. Organisation should make sure employees feel psychologically safe with leaders and managers. We may be trying our best to look after ourselves, doing all the right things, but we still find we are struggling. If we are experiencing one of the common mental health difficulties such as anxiety or depression, this can lead to altered thinking, different energy and motivation levels, which all make it harder to do what we need to do to keep well or function effectively.
Spotting the warning signs of a colleague struggling with their mental health can sometimes be hard, especially as more and more people now work remotely. But the one thing to keep in mind is that if something doesn’t feel quite right with someone, it probably isn’t. Whilst there is a wealth of good evidence on mental health at work, we still have many challenges and unanswered questions. If an employee’s work declines or colleagues notice changes to their personality or mood, this can often indicate that something’s not quite right. They could be stressed from mounting debts, struggling with the loss of a loved one, or experiencing anxiety caused by difficulties at home. All of these factors impact on their mental wellbeing, which then affects their workplace performance. The University of Exeter in the UK conducted research to show that bringing plants into the office, increased employee wellbeing by up to 47%. Ensure the workplace is clean, comfortable, and has everything your employees need to do their job in a stress free environment. Consider turning unused spaces into chill out or break out rooms. Offer free yoga, meditation and wellbeing classes over lunchtimes. Thinking about concepts such as managing employees with mental health issues is really helpful in a workplace environment.
Modify Policies And Practices
Mental illnesses can cause disability and unemployment rates to rise, resulting in employees who are hired and trained but no longer be able to do their jobs. Additional time and money need to be put into finding, onboarding, and training a new employee. The language we use is powerful – be mindful not to co-opt mental illness language. Think about how we talk about mental health today, the variety of terminology we have to name our emotions, feelings, thoughts, behaviors, and actions. We haven’t always had these terms of expression. What we use now is an evolution of and reference to the original terminology created in a clinical setting, that was eventually adapted into larger societal usage. Although challenges will be unique to each person and their life experience, there are some general themes to be aware of, further proving the point that this is absolutely a workplace issue. As our mental health influences the building blocks of how we view ourselves, how we interact with others, and our environment, this can impact how we view and do our work – particularly if we are in one of the valleys instead of atop a peak. With mental health, it’s not a case of having it or losing it. Rather, studies have shown that people can experience mental health symptoms on a continuum or spectrum. While individuals may not have all the symptoms that comprise a clinical mental disorder, they are likely to experience one or more symptoms of mental illness throughout their lifetime. Organisations can make sure their employee benefits package provides support for workplace wellbeing ideas today.
By leading from the top and agreeing actions at a senior level, employees who will drive the changes will feel that they have the support and authority to tackle stigma and promote positive mental health. Employees are also more likely to open up about their own mental health if there is a clear signal from the business leader or senior management. For too long stigma and taboos have fuelled fear and misunderstanding around mental ill health and prevented people from speaking out and seeking help. If an employee is living with a medical condition, you have a legal responsibility to consider making “reasonable adjustments” to enable them to remain in work. Most reasonable adjustments are simple and inexpensive, and are really just good people management and part of your general duty of care to your employees. But in some cases employees with a mental health condition may need further professional support. An important element of achieving a healthy workplace is the development of governmental legislation, strategies and polices as highlighted by the European Union Compass work in this area . A healthy workplace can be described as one where workers and managers actively contribute to the working environment by promoting and protecting the health, safety and well-being of all employees. Communicating openly and authentically helps team members open up to you. Choosing to be kind over right, or admitting to vulnerabilities and uncertainties, can really benefit team trust. Communication that emphasizes that leadership cares about concepts such as how to manage an employee with anxiety should be welcomed in the working environment.
Perception Of Colleagues
Many individuals don’t really understand what mental health is and how to face it or deal with it. This is especially true when it comes to mental health in the workplace. The key to getting rid of this problem is to educate, educate, educate. Mental health and mental illnesses aren’t often talked about or addressed in the workplace, in part, because they are more difficult to see or can simply be explained away. Additionally, employees are often reluctant to discuss mental health and illnesses, especially when it could impact their employment, and supervisors may feel underqualified or uncomfortable discussing sensitive subjects. Therefore, mental health in the workplace is often overlooked and can be difficult to address. According to the Society for Human Resources Management, many employers are enhancing emotional and mental health benefits. Types of support can range from managing stress, to treating invisible disabilities such as anxiety and depression. Considering how much time we spend at work, it’s not surprising it can affect our mental health. The way that managers behave is often key in shaping whether being at work has a positive or a negative impact on staff. While companies of all shapes and sizes increasingly understand the importance of good mental health, many simply don’t feel confident handling and communicating these issues in the workplace. Even though it may not be easy to become an employee-centric company addressing workplace wellbeing support it is of utmost importance in this day and age.
The term of employee wellbeing has expanded from traditional viewpoint and focus on providing medical care to employees. Nowadays, employers are aware of many elements that comprise employee wellbeing and are looking to make their employees happier and healthier. Encourage your staff to single-task instead of multitasking. Research shows that when people are constantly picking up their phone, checking their emails and jumping from task to task they become less productive. Mental health, like other aspects of health, can be affected by a range of socioeconomic factors that need to be addressed through comprehensive strategies for promotion, prevention, treatment and recovery in a whole-of-government approach. In addition to talking about poor mental health, we need to talk more openly about what we can do to nurture our mental health, open up conversations about what it means to experience a positive state of mental well-being, and look after our mental health. Mental health disorders are very common and rising. This causes human suffering and depletes the economic vitality of communities and nations. Don't forget to send out proper internal communications around employers duty of care mental health in your organisation.
Mental Health Disorders
Mental health struggles or mental illness can negatively impact work – and that’s why conversations and connection to resources are so important. Ways your organization can show care is through offering community service days, family activities, recognizing excellent employer-employee cooperation, and promoting the voices of employees and management in community meetings and activities. Many employers lack systems to recognise and address mental health at work. The workplace mental health and wellbeing survey suggests that many employers lack systems to recognise and address mental health at work, especially in relation to absence management and making adjustments. You can get additional details regarding Mental Health In The Workplace Mediations on this Health and Safety Executive page.