Mental health at work

Have you ever settled down to track down particulars in relation to Mental Health At Work Programs just to find yourself staring aghast at your computer monitor? I know that I have.Building a resilient work team is an important part of creating a healthy and productive work environment. Resilient teams are based on mutual trust, social norms, participation and social networks. Resilient teams are also more likely to be productive and high performing. You don’t need to be in crisis or have a diagnosed condition to share about mental health. You may have experienced a tough event, be going through a rough patch, and just need some support. When it comes to advocating for mental health at work, there are practical and easy steps every business can do to support their workforce. Read on for a brief guide to support mental health for employees. One of the major stumbling blocks for many employees who are suffering from mental ill health is the stigma attached to admitting you are ill. It is an age-old problem and one that HR staff have to address. Just as the workplace can promote good mental health through meaningful work, work can harm mental health through poorly designed jobs and exposure to workplace hazards and risks More job autonomy is associated with lower rates of anxiety and depression. Employers can increase employees’ autonomy by allowing them more freedom to craft how they do their roles.

Mental Health At Work Programs

When our working life supports our ability to thrive, the identity, income and purpose that it brings can be good for our mental health. We also know that challenging working conditions can be toxic to our mental health and we may lose the mental health benefits work can bring. A mental health, wellbeing and resilience strategy will only work when it becomes part of the culture of an organisation. The precedent has to be set from the top down. A manager who embodies good self care practices, demonstrates the ethos of an organisation, better than any memo or initiative around mental health. Simple actions, such as sticking to healthy working hours, and taking lunch away from one’s desk are the foundations to create a positive environment 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. Many employers, when faced with the words ‘mental illness,’ react with fear and doubt. But it is important to recognize that people who have been diagnosed as having a mental illness can still have mental wellbeing. How is this possible? Mental illness and wellbeing are not mutually exclusive—someone with a diagnosed mental illness can still be high functioning with the right environmental and lifestyle conditions. Organisations can make sure their employee benefits package provides support for employers duty of care mental health today.

Minimal Staff Turnover

A survey by the anti-stigma campaign Time to Change, led by Mind and Rethink Mental Illness, found a 7 percentage point rise, since 2009, in people’s willingness to work with someone with a mental health problem (69% to 76%). However, there is still a long way to go as nearly one in ten adults (7%) in England think people with mental health problems shouldn’t have the same rights to a job as anyone else. Employers need to be confident that there will be timely and appropriate support available to them if they employ people with a mental health condition. According to specialist literature, exercise can also help reduce stress at work either in the form of company sport activities, fitness or jogging groups. It is therefore a good idea to include it as an element of the company prevention strategy. Most of the world’s population spends one-third or more of their adult time working. Work plays an important role in individual and family self-sufficiency and is critically important to one’s sense of identity and life purpose. Work and family/personal life are not separate spheres as once considered, but rather people take personal experiences, including stress and mental health to work and vice versa, they bring work experiences, reactions and stress home and into their communities. Proactive management of absence is central to the effective management of people with a mental health issue – and again the role of the line manager is critical. Sometimes an employee may be so unwell they need time off work to recover. The way in which organisations manage a period of sickness absence is key to shaping how effectively and how quickly people are able to return to work, and get back to peak performance. For employers not investing in wellbeing initiatives, workplace wellbeing ideas can be a difficult notion to comprehend.

Managers who don’t help remove obstacles or share resources with employees can contribute to employees feeling overwhelmed and unmotivated. For instance, rather than expecting employees to figure out tasks that they’re unclear about, managers should demonstrate how to complete those tasks and stay available for questions. Some proactive steps employers can take to understand and assess their employees’ mental health include training managers on what to do if they see signs of emotional distress or substance abuse. Now, more than ever, many employees are fighting mental health conditions such as stress, anxiety and depression. Mental well-being is the ability to cope with the day-to-day stresses of life, work productively, interact positively with others and realise our own potential. When we talk about well-being we are referring to mental well-being. If you want your employer to understand your needs, disclosing your mental health problem may prompt your employer to treat you in a more constructive and supportive way. From a legal point of view, an employer only has to make adjustments for needs that they know about. Communication that emphasizes that leadership cares about concepts such as managing employees with mental health issues should be welcomed in the working environment.

Modify Policies And Practices

You may have a physical job like construction or teaching – you’ll notice if you are off sick because of injury or physical illness how quickly your mood starts to be affected by the change in activity level. If you work in an office it can make a huge difference to get out for a walk or do a class at lunchtime, or to build in exercise before or after work. When we focus on using a balanced overview of language in relation to the different states of mental health, it can improve our wider understanding of this complex topic and gently release the outdated views of the stigma, which, for many years, have prevented open discussion on this subject in workplaces. Workplace wellbeing programs are integral for an organisation’s staff, encouraging and promoting health and wellbeing. Many workplace initiatives can help people to manage stress, whatever the cause. Stress in an employee’s personal life, for example due to financial worries, loss of a loved one or a change in circumstances, can understandably influence performance at work because people don’t necessarily leave their worries at home. Employees want to be listened to, shown by the desire of mentoring schemes, counselling schemes and monitoring of mental wellbeing (e.g. via surveys). This boils down to a desire to be understood. If employers can take the time to understand the struggles and needs of their employees when it comes to mental wellbeing, then they are well on their way to building a workplace where employees feel able to share their feelings and experiences. 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.

Modern executives have leaned into workplace culture trends as a means of addressing rising stress levels, dwindling work-life balance and cries for more reasonable schedules. They’ve adopted open floor plans, dog-friendly policies and healthy snack cabinets. They’ve encouraged team outings and hosted mindfulness events. A stressful work environment can contribute to problems such as headache, stomachache, sleep disturbances, short temper, and difficulty concentrating. Chronic stress can result in anxiety, insomnia, high blood pressure, and a weakened immune system. It can also contribute to health conditions such as depression, obesity, and heart disease. Mental health is the way we think and feel and our ability to deal with ups and downs. If someone has a mental health problem that has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on their ability to perform normal day-to-day activities, they are considered disabled and will be protected from discrimination under the Equality Act 2010. As a leader, it’s not enough to say that you prioritize wellness and announce a few virtual wellness events or services via your intranet or in internal communications. Each manager, supervisor, and team lead has a responsibility to demonstrate the company’s commitment to well-being. Don’t forget to send out proper internal communications around Wellbeing for HR in your organisation.

Evidence-based Mental Health Promotion

When having mental health conversations with team members at work, don’t assume mental illness or stress means they can’t do their job. Encourage everyone to develop a rich, full life outside of the office. People who engage in hobbies, spend time with loved ones, and take time to care for themselves make better employees. If people with poor mental health who are in work are not supported at work it can cost employers a huge amount of money. This is because the person may need time off work to deal with their illness if they do not get the support they need. This costs employers between £33 billion and £42 billion each year. Stumble upon more information on the topic of Mental Health At Work Programs at this World Health Organisation entry.

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