Recently I listened to a speaker about the aptness of Employer's Mental Health Interventions and would like to share what I obtained from the experience with you in this article.
Organisations should ensure a physical environment that is supportive of mental health and wellbeing including a sound, ergonomically designed workstation or working situation with appropriate lighting, noise levels, heating, ventilation and adequate facilities for rest breaks. Often employees will not feel confident in speaking up about mental health issues, so a manager making the first move to open up a dialogue can be key. To set your workforce up for success, it’s time to change the way your organization approaches employee wellbeing. Rather than a series of bolt-on support programs aimed at firefighting existing problems in your workforce, you can now integrate proactive employee wellbeing tools into the flow of every workday. We have seen a growing awareness around emotional health, but slow progress in some areas. The reality is that mental wellness is much more than the absence of mental illness. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, one in five American adults experience mental illness, with one in 20 experiencing serious mental illness, which can be defined based on a group of specific diagnoses. Unfortunately, many managers are still unaware of how to improve mental health in the workplace. Prospective job applicants are often reluctant to divulge problems. If you are an HR Manager, you need to possess the skills to recognize when an employee is undergoing a mental health situation and appreciate what can be done in terms of providing support.
Most of us have days when we feel helpless, overloaded, or unappreciated—when dragging ourselves out of bed requires the determination of Hercules. If you feel like this most of the time, however, you may be burned out. Disclosure can be a positive experience, but discrimination and self-stigma remain big issues. A majority of respondents to the workplace mental health and wellbeing survey who disclosed a mental health problem to an employer described it as an overall positive experience, and were more aware of the support available to them than those who had not. Employers know that people perform better when they feel able to put everything into their job and when they are confident, motivated and completely focused on doing that. Good mental health underpins this. By positively managing and supporting employees’ mental wellbeing, employers can ensure that staff perform to their potential – and this allows the business to achieve peak performance. Hanging out with negative-minded people who do nothing but complain will only drag down your mood and outlook. If you have to work with a negative person, try to limit the amount of time you spend together. Communication that emphasizes that leadership cares about concepts such as workplace wellbeing support
should be welcomed in the working environment.
Consider offering a healthcare package available that includes cover for psychologists, counselors and a host of alternative medical treatments. Services like this often include a confidential 24-hour support line that covers mental health and wellbeing support. 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 Some proactive steps employers can take to understand and assess their employees’ mental health include using mental health calculators to estimate the prevalence and associated costs of untreated depression and alcohol and substance abuse at the workplace. If the workplace is not supportive to mental health concerns, it can trigger or exacerbate mental ill health, with anxiety, depression and stress-related disorders being the most common issues. Poor work environments, typically characterised by high demands, low levels of individual autonomy and poor support, can undermine the health and wellbeing benefits that 'good' work brings. In some cases the effect is toxic. It’s no secret that employees are burned out and stressed. Additionally, a staggering number are resigning from their jobs due to companies not knowing how to support mental health at work effectively. According to research by Gallup, negative emotions set new records, with experiences of worry, stress, sadness and anger on the rise. Organisations can make sure their employee benefits package provides support for employers duty of care mental health
It is discriminatory to make assumptions about people’s capabilities, promotion potential and the amount of sick leave they are likely to take, on the basis of their health. Employers must treat people with mental ill health exactly the same as they would any other member of staff. Organisations should create an awareness and understanding of mental wellbeing and reduce the potential for discrimination and stigma related to mental health problems. How people are treated and managed on a day-to-day basis is central to their mental well-being and engagement, as well as the level of trust in the employment relationship. The behaviours of line managers will, to a large degree, determine the extent to which employees will go the extra mile in their jobs, are resilient under pressure and remain loyal to their organisation. With a national emphasis on mental health, UK employers have never had a better opportunity to start a conversation with their employees about their wellbeing. And with seven in ten employees having suffered from a condition that’s related to mental health – from stress to suicidal feelings – it has become even more to put employee wellbeing at the top of the corporate to do list. There’s a role for employers in providing education and support programs to employees. But a one-size-fits-all approach won’t work across diverse workforces. Instead organizations must customize their emotional and mental wellbeing programs based on what they’re experiencing, says Pronk. Thinking about concepts such as workplace wellbeing ideas
is really helpful in a workplace environment.
Flexible Work Schedule
Managing and supporting mental health at work is important. In fact, only 14% of employees say they get mental health support. Posting videos from company leaders sharing mental health tips or sponsoring activities related to emotional wellness in the workplace can dramatically change the conversation simply by starting it. Kind and engaging communication and management practices are the mark of a good manager-employee relationship. Poor communication and practices, on the other hand, create strain on the relationship, create poor mental health, and increase workplace stress. If it is not already offered, push for your company to offer a wellness program or wellness stiped at your workplace. This encourages employees to prioritize their wellness and incentivizes them to do the things that they need to remain healthy. Common mental health problems and stress can exist independently. For example, people can have work-related stress and physical changes such as high blood pressure, without experiencing anxiety and depression. They can also have anxiety and depression without experiencing stress. Raising awareness and fostering dialogue about mental health is critical. But talking isn’t always enough on its own. 57% of people say that if their employer proactively supported their mental well-being, it would help them to feel more loyal, be more productive in the office and take less time off work. For employers not investing in wellbeing initiatives, managing employees with mental health issues
can be a difficult notion to comprehend.
Social relationships both help promote wellbeing and prevent mental ill health. You could talk to, and not email, a colleague, speak to someone new, or share a journey to or from work with a colleague. All employers can and should routinely monitor employee mental health and wellbeing by understanding available data, talking to employees, and understanding risk factors. Employee wellness programmes are a solution for employers looking to give their staff the opportunity to improve both their physical and mental health. With mental health at the forefront of discussions around employee wellbeing, it's important that mental health is at the top of your agenda. Employers and employees have shared obligations for creating respectful and courteous workplaces. Employers want a productive workforce that manages its performance and achieves results. Organisations should value mental health and wellbeing as core business assets and support the development of compassionate and effective line management relationships. Don't forget to send out proper internal communications around how to manage an employee with anxiety
in your organisation.
The Economic Burden Of Mental Health Disorders Is Staggering
Not everyone who experiences mental ill health will exhibit obvious signs. So, it is important for a manager to regularly ask team members 'how they are doing' and create an environment where staff feel able to be open and honest about how they are feeling. Larger employers can and should improve the disclosure process to encourage openness during recruitment and throughout, ensuring employees are aware of why the information is needed and make sure the right support is in place to facilitate a good employer response following disclosure. Mental health is not complicated. You don’t have to be a doctor or a therapist as a manager – an open-door policy and an understanding culture gives the best possible opportunity to solve problems. You can check out more intel relating to Employer's Mental Health Interventions in this Health and Safety Executive