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Everyone is responsible for keeping a good work-life balance. That includes employers. Most of us will know someone – whether it’s ourselves, a family member, friend or colleague – who lives with a mental health problem. Something that can lead to work-related mental health problems is when employees don't receive enough information and support. Making sure everyone can talk about mental health at work is an important step your business can take to help people manage it. Much progress has been made in reducing the stigma of mental health, but we still need to do more. Despite many employees feeling their employer or line manager would be supportive if they shared a mental health issue, a significantly smaller number of people actually do disclose concerns. Some say this is because they fear discrimination. There are many reasons why a mental illness may develop through work. There is no singular cause because it’s not a linear problem. No two people are identical in this and the influencing factors that usher a person down the pathway of developing a mental illness, while sometimes similar, are unique. 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.
While monitoring productivity is likely to be intrusive and actually increases employees’ pressures to perform, monitoring workloads — including regularly assessing job design and possibly reallocating tasks among your employees — takes a bigger-picture perspective. The lack of a clear beginning and end to the workday blurs the distinction between home and work life, leading to a muddle of demands and distractions. Some companies are promoting virtual commutes to mark the boundaries of the workday without the hassle of traffic or travel. Due to the stigma attached to mental illness, people who've got mental health issues often experience discrimination. The other side of the coin is that discrimination contributes to mental illness. Multiple research studies have consistently shown that the chronic experience of discrimination can cause a person to develop low-esteem. Running wellbeing events, creating space in team meetings and supervisions or appraisals to talk about how everyone is feeling, and ensuring key messages about wellbeing are reinforced throughout the organisation – especially by senior management – all show a genuine commitment to investing in a healthier work environment. An opinion on managing employees with mental health issues is undoubtebly to be had in every workplace in the country.
Mental Health Support
Organisations should address discrimination, support disclosure and value the diversity and transferable skills that the lived experience of mental health problems brings. Employers have duties under health and safety legislation to assess the risk of stress-related poor mental health arising from work activities and to take measures to control that risk. The Health and Safety Executive’s (HSE) Management Standards are designed to facilitate this. Get to know your team well and you can start to recognise the signs of stress. Don’t rely on your staff to tell you they’re feeling stressed. By this point, their productivity and mental health will already have taken a hit. Keep a careful eye out, and you can help protect your team’s wellbeing. When we think about our physical health we know that there’s a place for keeping ourselves fit, and a place for getting appropriate help as early as possible so we can get better. Mental health is just the same. The most common impact of conflict at work is that people find it stressful – underlining the need for employers to foster healthy working environments that have a zero-tolerance approach to bullying. Don't forget to send out proper internal communications around employers duty of care mental health in your organisation.
People have always looked to their managers for support, and that has increased since early 2020; tensions are at an all-time high. A leader’s actions and behaviors can serve as a guide to let team members know it’s OK to speak up and show vulnerabilities. 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. Having an ongoing review process is critical for an organisation's mental health plan. Through evaluation, you can assess whether or not you achieved your intended outcomes and improved psychological health and safety. From there you can adjust your plans and take any corrective action. This will help keep your organization moving in the right direction. Boost your team’s mental wellbeing, by implementing some simple healthy workplace practices. For office workers you should encourage your employees to frequently break long sitting periods, as this has been shown to enhance mood and boost energy levels. You could also encourage exercise and regular social events to boost the physical and mental wellbeing of your staff. A culture of self-acceptance can help support individual employees suffering from mental health issues to overcome their reticence about disclosing their situation. Similarly, creating a culture of awareness can encourage employees to support colleagues who might be struggling. Subjects such as workplace wellbeing ideas can be tackled by getting the appropriate support in place.
Employees Perform Better When They Feel Supported
Many impressively accomplished people have also had their own struggles with mental illness. Some of the most successful people I know have intense clinical anxiety, and their form of coping is by productively channeling it into their work. They remain passionate about their work, and impact their community in a positive way. As an employer, line manager or HR professional it’s crucial you know exactly how to support your people should they be suffering from an anxiety disorder. But, unless you’ve experienced these issues first hand it can be incredibly difficult to understand the condition, let alone know how to give them the right support. From medical journals to government reports, the word most commonly used to describe the toll of all illness is "burden". That trillion-dollar figure the World Health Organization uses to drive home the economic impact of mental illness? That’s technically its "burden" on the global economy. Once you’ve identified the main stressors in the workplace, make it a priority to address employee mental health in the workplace. If flexible hours or telecommuting will help people juggle work and life, get on it. If resources are an issue, staff up, contract out, add budget or shift gears to put some projects on hold. Policies for employee mental health are explicitly linked to the organization’s mission and values. Organizational goals are aligned to promote employee mental health and hold supervisors accountable for a mental health-friendly workplace. Organisations can make sure their employee benefits package provides support for workplace wellbeing support today.
By addressing mental health issues, businesses can improve the general wellbeing of employees, reduce absenteeism and presenteeism, lower staff turnover and increase productivity. Employees with different mental illnesses can benefit from varying treatment approaches. For example, there is evidence that cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) can successfully treat people with depression. It can also be a cost-effective option. Whether you have a job that leaves you rushed off your feet or one that is monotonous and unfulfilling, the most effective way to combat job burnout is to quit and find a job you love instead. Of course, for many of us changing job or career is far from being a practical solution, we’re grateful just to have work that pays the bills. Whatever your situation, though, there are still steps you can take to improve your state of mind. Some questions that employers can ask about their mental health approach include: How does your organisation manage change and redundancy processes? How well do you involve staff in making decisions about internal changes? How do you look after your own mental wellbeing at work? As an employee you have the right to expect your employer and managers to create the conditions for mentally healthy workplaces. But you are also responsible for your own mental health by taking care of yourself and your colleagues. For employers not investing in wellbeing initiatives, how to manage an employee with anxiety can be a difficult notion to comprehend.
Prioritising Employee Engagement
By the time they reach 30, 95 percent of workers in the UK will have been touched by mental health challenges — either their own, or those of a friend, family member, or co–worker. Three out of four will have personally experienced such a challenge. These individuals are also almost twice as likely as their more senior peers to be experiencing issues with their mental health right now. Employers must look towards preventative solutions – available to employees at every level – rather than only dealing with present issues impacting staff. We probably know at least one person that works through their lunch break or stays late most nights. Known as presenteeism, this habit isn’t uncommon. But, working yourself into the ground does you no good whatsoever. You can discover additional facts about Employer's Mental Health Programs Mediations on this World Health Organisation page.