Unfortunately, mental health is still a taboo subject in many workplaces. Employees find it difficult to raise concerns, and employers often don’t have the support or knowledge they need to be able to handle these issues. According to mental health charity Mind, around 25% of people in the UK will experience a mental health problem each year. Anxiety, depression, phobias, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), panic disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are among the most common issues in England.
To mark this month’s World Mental Health Day, we thought we’d shine the spotlight on why improving mental health awareness in your company really matters. Looking after the health and well-being of employees should be an important USP of your company, whether workers have just joined your brand (courtesy of the recruitment services we provide) or have been with you for the long haul. Mental health aw
According to this white paper from the European Network for Workplace Health Promotion (ENWHP), positive mental health can be defined as:
“A state of well-being in which every individual realizes his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to her or his community. Employees with good mental health will perform better in their work.”
Raising mental health awareness within your company can promote positivity and understanding, and prevent the issues that cause life-impacting, productivity-reducing stress and work-related mental health problems. In larger organisations in particular, overcoming the challenges that prevent businesses from providing help and advice to employees who have developed mental health problems becomes even more difficult.
There are many reasons why it’s worth encouraging a groundswell of support to initiate change. Poor mental health is extremely costly to the corporate world, resulting in more employee absences from work, higher staff turnover, and reduced staff well-being.
Starting a conversation about mental health and well-being doesn’t have to be a challenge. By developing a mental health-friendly company culture, you can build the foundation you need to tackle work-related mental health problems head on and support staff who are already experiencing mental health disorders. Working with senior management and other members of your team is a great place to begin.
As an employer, you and your team should be sending a strong message, namely that the mental health and well-being of your workers matters. Show your commitment to mental health awareness and support by initiating simple actions, such as encouraging staff lunch breaks and promoting healthier working hours, to start your mentally healthy work environment off on the right foot.
In addition to making a clear statement about how mental health stigma will be handled within your company through your internal communication channels, put words into actions. Many companies introduce mental health champions, individuals at all levels that are there to speak openly about mental health and provide the support to those who need guidance.
Mental health awareness and support should be there from the very beginning of your employees’ journeys. Taking steps to embed your mentally healthy friendly ethos into induction and training is therefore integral to a happy, positive and productive workplace.