Current Conversations About Mental Health At Work Interventions


Recently I attended a conference about the relevance of Mental Health At Work Interventions and would like to share what I found out from the experience with you in this article.

Some larger companies have mentoring schemes. This is when you are partnered with a person, usually a senior person in a different part of the company, who can talk to you about aspects of your work. Recognise that we all have mental health, and we all feel overwhelmed at times. Anticipate times when people might be under stress either for work or personal reasons and encourage support and self-care at those times. Employer and employees have a joint responsibility to safeguard employees' mental wellbeing. Both managers and their teams should attend an MHFA training course in order to better understand how to support themselves as well as others. MHFA-trained teams are healthier and more resilient because team members are mutually supportive. Since poor mental health is a top cost driver for employers, these investments can provide businesses with savings in the long run, as well as help attract and retain talent. Employees are increasingly looking for employers that take mental health issues seriously and provide appropriate supports. It’s something that businesses have had to learn over time, to understand how the whole person impacts that equation; most importantly, how the workforce, over time through opening up, has expressed a desire to discuss those factors and feel released from the pressure to keep their life separate for the sake of “professionalism”. That work/life partition, also known as “compartmentalization”, is, for many people, slowly becoming a practice of the past. At the end of the day, whether you invest long-term or short-term in mental health provision, this has the power to create a powerful mindset shift, and you might even discover a group of employees who are passionate about starting up a wellness committee to steer a longer-term well-being strategy for your workplace.

Mental Health At Work Interventions

All employees should be made aware of the organisation's mental wellbeing policy and the facilities available. This will be part of a health at work policy, which will be included in the employee handbook and employee information or induction packs. The enthusiastic support and involvement of leaders and managers is evident and employees understand their employers’ commitment to creating a workplace that is mental health-friendly. During busy or high-demand times, you may be tempted to set aside your employee health goals. By doing so, you will only delay progress towards your broader mental health goals. Consider including achievements related to the mental health strategy in leaders’ evaluations. Document the outcomes. This will help keep leaders accountable. Poor mental health can affect the way people think, feel or behave. In some cases this can seriously limit a person’s ability to cope with day-to-day life, which can impact on relationships, work and quality of life. However, many people effectively manage their mental health condition alongside the demands of a job and daily life, sometimes with treatment and support. Thinking about concepts such as workplace wellbeing ideas is really helpful in a workplace environment.

Flexible Work Schedule

Balancing the pressures of work with the needs of home and personal life can seem like a mammoth struggle if you're working without enough - or the right - support. It's times like these that we could really benefit from an extra pair of caring hands. Counselling is one way to help employees and managers alike learn how to swim above water, even during the storm. Employers should be able to support employees to stay in work, when appropriate, and make adjustments including support with workload, revised working hours, allowing absence for treatment or opportunities to work from home, depending on the individual’s needs. With understanding, creativity, and support, companies can provide the best mental health programs for their employees. Wellness programmes align employer and employee goals more closely. They show that employees in organisations with an established wellness culture are more than twice as likely to be engaged with its mission and goals. Dedicated quiet spaces for relaxation activities give employees the opportunity for mid-day breaks to unwind and de-stress. Equally important is making it culturally acceptable to take breaks and use these spaces. Leaders and managers can set the tone. Discussing ideas such as workplace wellbeing support is good for the staff and the organisation as a whole.

Promoting wellbeing and tackling the causes of mental health problems will create an environment where staff can feel confident to talk to their manager. Employers should provide more mental health education and training across all levels of the organization. Fostering positive health and wellbeing is essential to building a successful and sustainable organisation and can have a range of benefits from improving engagement, recruitment and retention to enabling people to fully develop in their roles. By demonstrating a commitment to effective mental health policies your organisation can attract and retain an engaged and motivated workforce. Because of the stigma surrounding mental health, employees don’t always get help. They may fear getting ostracized by their peers, or other negative repercussions on their job. And so, they may hide their symptoms or completely deny that they’re experiencing any problems. The duty of HR professionals is laid out perfectly by the tackle mental health website which provides a very handy checklist that is superb for HR staff. It includes advice to avoid using general phrases about working under stressful conditions as well as warning against an emphasis on soft skills and personality traits. Communication that emphasizes that leadership cares about concepts such as managing employees with mental health issues should be welcomed in the working environment.

Embed Employee Engagement

Despite the globally recognized mental health impact, some studies showed that workers remained hesitant to speak to their manager or people in the company about their mental health, for fear that they would be seen like they couldn’t cope and perform, and that they may be replaced. When we say mental health, we’re talking about the psychological and emotional wellbeing of someone. A positive mental state of mind is just as important as staying fit. Although the two are separate, they go hand in hand in ensuring we remain healthy throughout life. All employers can and should routinely monitor employee mental health and wellbeing by understanding available data, talking to employees, and understanding risk factors. Mental health conditions are a leading cause of sickness absence in the UK (ranked after minor illnesses and musculoskeletal problems). More than 17.5 million absence days were attributed to stress, anxiety and depression in 2018 (ONS, 2019). If an employee talks to you about their mental health, ask them what they would like you to do with the information, such as what to tell colleagues, and ask how the workplace can support them. Stigma surrounding mental illness may prevent people from feeling comfortable about how mental health issues will be handled at work. Subjects such as employers duty of care mental health can be tackled by getting the appropriate support in place.

The only way to know if your employees are afraid of speaking up — in other words, how psychologically safe or unsafe they feel — is to ask them. Anonymously, of course. 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. Is it helpful to promote positive thoughts such as fulfillment when trying to be productive? Absolutely. Is that always possible? No. Sometimes, you are where you are, and you try to be productive despite that. Those organisations that are starting to see mental health as a priority recognise that it is important for recruiting and retaining the talent of the future, and that good mental health and wellbeing is linked to strong performance. As an employer you have a legal duty to support people with mental health problems, according to the Equality Act 2010. This act outlines an employer’s responsibility to take steps to make sure a disabled person, suffering substantial long-term impairment, has the same access to opportunities that involve keeping or gaining employment as a non-disabled person. And this applies to mental as well as physical health. For employers not investing in wellbeing initiatives, how to manage an employee with anxiety can be a difficult notion to comprehend.

Psychological & Social Support

Initiatives like meditation and mindfulness sessions, yoga classes, and providing a space to de-stress at work can help in coping with work-related tension. If employers are unsure of how to approach mental health and avoid the subject completely, employees may feel afraid of opening up to them about their struggles. And, if employees aren’t talking about their mental health, employers won’t learn how to approach it. Go figure. Poor mental health is when we are struggling with low mood, stress or anxiety. This might mean we’re also coping with feeling restless, confused, short-tempered, upset or preoccupied. We all go through periods of experiencing poor mental health – mental health is a spectrum of moods and experiences and we all have times when we feel better or worse. Unearth extra particulars regarding Mental Health At Work Interventions on this World Health Organisation web page.

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