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Blog 01/07/2019

Mental Health in the Workplace

There has been a major focus and increased media presence of mental health over the last few years, with more and more people speaking out over these issues.

So, what exactly is it?

Generally, ‘Mental Health’ is the well-being of your mind. There are many external and internal factors that influence the way in which your brain works and functions on a daily basis. This could be work-related stress, family issues, biological issues, any other life experiences and so on.

According to the Mind Charity, every 1 in 4 people in the UK will experience a mental health problem each year, and every 1 in 6 people experience a common mental health problem in any given week. These statistics are shocking, but sadly standard in our current era.

As mentioned, more recognition and campaigns are being developed to support individuals suffering, and provide advice to everyone to know how to handle difficult situations such as this.

It’s important for employers to recognise that workplace health is not simply a physical problem, it includes the mental well-being of the employees too. We spend a great majority of our time at work. It’s the place where we get our income, form relationships and other social events.

Research shows that a healthy mind, increases productivity within the workplace.  Ultimately, this is due to a decrease of stress, allowing a clearer mind to think rationally.

How can we spot the signs as employers and colleagues?

  • Physical (panic attacks)
  • Psychological (distraction, tearful)
  • Behavioural (anger, increased absences, risk-taking)

 

What can employers do?

Of course, employers would like their employees to be happy when they go to work, so it’s important to create a healthy workplace for the team.

Public Health England published an article stating that firstly companies should offer at least the minimum level of quality.

  • Decent living wage
  • Opportunities for in-work development
  • Flexibility with balancing work and personal life

 

Ensuring basic living standards are met ensures employees are comfortable in their current state.

As well as this, the Mind Charity have included excellent resource materials, particularly “How to support staff who are experiencing a mental health problem”.

The guide provides insightful advice and tips for employers including the following:

Workplace adjustments;

  • Flexible hours
  • Change of workplace (quieter, more/less busy)
  • Light box/seat with more natural light
  • Relaxing absence rules and sickness

Role adjustments;

  • Training/support to apply for vacancies in other departments
  • Redeployment to a more suitable role
  • Reallocation of some tasks

Extra support;

  • Increased support from manager
  • Extra training and help with managing workload
  • More positive/constructive feedback
  • More opportunities to discuss positive achievements (build self-esteem, confidence)
  • More social activities (team-building)

 

With more and more people experiencing some form of problem with their mental health, and the new technology focused generation, it’s important that we work together and help each other to support individuals who are suffering.

On a positive look, more is being done to build awareness on mental health, and effective ways we should look after ourselves and ensure a positive mind.

Always speak to trusted members of your team if you need help.



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