Poor mental health is much more common than many people realise.
While more and more is being done to combat the stigma surrounding the topic, many people still feel unable to discuss their mental health with others, especially in a professional setting.
Work is a big part of most people’s lives, and it can often contribute to mental health problems. Employers and employees alike need to understand the importance of discussing mental health and having support measures in place.
The biggest factors that contribute to poor mental health for workers are:
As an employer, you should try to put in place procedures that monitor and improve these key areas of concern to minimise their risk.
Absences due to poor mental health are extremely common in the UK.
It is worth bearing in mind that the stigma around mental health problems can also lead to ‘presenteeism’, where employees turn up to work even though they are not fit to do so. Forcing themselves to carry on as normal can exacerbate symptoms and lead to increased time off in the long run.
It is therefore important to ensure that you have the right support in place that will allow workers to understand that it is okay to take a break if they are feeling overwhelmed.
Workers should feel that they are able disclose any mental health concerns to their employer and that they will be supported if they do so. Currently, there is much work to be done to achieve this.
Of workers who had a mental health problem:
When people are struggling, it can be difficult to ask for help, especially if they have to broach the subject.
Employers can make mental health disclosure less daunting by improving relationships with their workers and addressing the topic with everyone. This means that workers don’t need to bring it up themselves, and they are also not singled out as the only one discussing mental health support.
Currently, not enough is being done to support mental health in the workplace.
There are many online resources that can help employers to implement better mental health support strategies in their companies.
The Mental Health Foundation has a guide on How to support mental health at work, as well as many other publications.
Mental health charity Mind has lots of resources about supporting mental health at work, as well as lots of other information.
MHAW provides advice to improve mental health within workplaces through education, skills development and cultural change.
Mental Health at Work is a hub of resources and information for employers of all sizes.
No matter how big or small your company, there is much to be gained by engaging with mental health in the workplace. Making changes to your processes and procedures can drastically improve the overall mental health of your staff, increasing productivity, staff retention and employee satisfaction.
Philip specialises in: Senior, Director and C-Level roles in Digital Marketing
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