#1 2022-04-27 13:54:58

Registered: 2022-04-26
Posts: 16

Workplace wellbeing

What is weird and wonderful about Mental Health At Work Initiatives at the present?

We all have mental health, just as we all have physical health. How we feel can vary from good mental well-being to difficult feelings and emotions, to severe mental health problems. There are, of course, workplaces which don’t have toxic work relationships or a noticeably unsafe work culture, but still struggle to create the aimed-for culture around mental health. This roadblock at work is more around logistics and practicalities, considering the resources and funding available, and touching on some HR and legal issues (and perceived concerns) that companies face. Every business must understand that driving a culture where mental health is prioritised cannot be achieved where it is an add-on but only when it is a fundamental part of how the business is run. Unless leaders within your organisation visibly act to promote good mental health then any efforts to affect an organisational change will be undermined. Boost your team’s mental wellbeing, by implementing some simple healthy workplace practices. For office workers you should encourage your employees to frequently break long sitting periods, as this has been shown to enhance mood and boost energy levels. You could also encourage exercise and regular social events to boost the physical and mental wellbeing of your staff. There has been a lot written about how to tackle mental ill health and promote wellbeing in the workplace. We know that mental health problems increase the risk of people being unemployed for a long period and falling into poverty. National policies that support employers to recruit and then sustain people with mental health problems in work are good for business, good for people and good for our society.


Employers have duties under health and safety legislation to assess the risk of stress-related poor mental health arising from work activities and to take measures to control that risk. The Health and Safety Executive’s (HSE) Management Standards are designed to facilitate this. A healthy workplace is one in which employees and their leaders actively work together to create a work environment that promotes and protects the health, safety and well-being of all employees. Creating a workplace environment that recognizes, acknowledges and promotes the importance of positive mental health is one of the most important things an employer can do to improve their organization. When their hard work, dedication and teamwork are appreciated, your employees’ feel more fulfilled and satisfied in their jobs. In addition, employee recognition positively affects productivity and creates a culture of appreciation. Overall, employee recognition has a power to inspire your employees and make them realize what a crucial part of your company they are. Employees need to be able to be their true selves at work. Having to hide any part of their identity can cause stress and anxiety. Embedding diversity and inclusion in every facet of a workplace mental health strategy is critical. And it’s especially important as part of your mental health strategy. Workplace mental health supports also need to reflect the diverse needs of employees. An opinion on how to manage an employee with anxiety is undoubtebly to be had in every workplace in the country.

Be Vulnerable

Many employers are already creating healthy, inclusive workplaces, but more needs to be done so that employers provide the support needed for employees with mental health conditions. whether you have a mental health problem or not, your employer has a duty of care to you under health and safety legislation. All workers have a right to work where risks to their health and safety are properly controlled. employers also have responsibilities to protect employees after returning to work from sickness absence if they have become more vulnerable because of illness, injury or disability. Work is better for the economy – specialist employment support more than pays for itself by reducing the numbers of people claiming long-term disability and unemployment benefits. 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. Some employers have understood that having a mental health condition is something that can and does get better. After all, if I had epilepsy, many employers would understand that the fits do stop and they can be triggered by stress. It’s just the same with having bipolar disorder: the best employers can see beyond a label or diagnosis to get the best from people. Subjects such as workplace wellbeing support can be tackled by getting the appropriate support in place.

Increasingly digital health and apps can make engagement in an individual’s mental health easier. For example Soma Analytics have developed an application which measures work-related stress. It uses the sensors in people’s smartphones to identify behavioural changes, such as sleep quality, emotion in voice and physical activity that signal they are at a risk of work-related mental ill health. While mental ill health is a sensitive and personal issue – like any health problem – most people prefer honest and open enquiries over reluctance to address the issue. Shying away from the subject can perpetuate fear of stigma and increase feelings of anxiety. While organizations have a direct impact on employees’ careers, organizational leaders are often skeptical about how much they should cross over into other areas of their employees’ lives — and they should be. How much should an organization delve into someone’s life outside of work anyway? Is it even appropriate for organizations to concern themselves with, say, an employee’s physical health or community involvement? A practical approach to mental health understanding at work has been incorporating scenario-based training when helping colleagues think about how to spot mental health problems in the workplace. Through this approach managers have been more engaged, instead of saying ‘just carry on with your job’, they’re being more understanding and supportive to colleagues. 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. Thinking about concepts such as managing employees with mental health issues is really helpful in a workplace environment.

Employee Mental Health Benefits

Managers should explore with any employee reporting a mental health issue how to address any difficulties which are work-related, which might in turn help them to cope with any problems in other areas of their lives. Managers should encourage employees to see their GP as a first step and ensure they are aware of any support available either from their employer, for example talking to mental health first aiders within the organisation or using a confidential employee assistance helpline. Before you can talk about mental health at work with your team members, you must first check in with yourself. Reflect on your own perceptions or concerns about discussing mental health at work and shift those as needed. Training in workplace mental health can take many forms: induction processes, staff handbook modules, specialist supervision, intranet hosted or even lunch and learns. Training can be internal but there are also a range of options for bringing in effective external support to deliver training to be better at understanding and responding to their own and others mental heath issues. Across Europe the levels of absenteeism, unemployment and long term disability claims due to work related stress and mental health problems have been increasing. For example: Around 10 percent of long-term health problems and disabilities can be ascribed to mental and emotional disorders. If an individual does not trust their line manager, they are unlikely to want to discuss a sensitive issue such as mental health with them. Managers need to ensure they are seen as approachable and listen when staff ask for help. Managers should also be mindful of whether the workplace culture is conducive to encouraging people to talk about their mental health, including disclosure. Similarly to any change that happens within organizations, discussions around employers duty of care mental health need planning and implementing properly.

When employees struggle with their mental health, it affects the business, as well as individuals, as employees may be less productive. So it's in your organisation’s best interests to take employee mental health and wellbeing seriously. and perceptions and what is actually happening in the workplace. This means that employees often do not get the help they need to maintain a fulfilling and productive working life, and some line managers are frustrated by the lack of support to do what they know is right. All employers can and should promote effective people management to ensure all employees have a regular conversation about their health and well-being with their line manager, supervisor or organisational leader and train and support line managers and supervisors in effective management practices. Employers should proactively ensure work design and organisational culture drive positive mental health outcomes. As well as having a huge impact on individual employees, poor mental health has severe repercussions for employers – including increased staff turnover, sickness absence due to debilitating depression, burnout and exhaustion, decreased motivation and lost productivity. Don't forget to send out proper internal communications around workplace wellbeing ideas in your organisation.

Open And Supportive Workplaces Benefit Everyone

Not only does work give us the money we need to live, but it also provides social contacts and support, keeps us physically and mentally active, allows us to develop and use skills, gives us social status, a sense of identity and personal achievement, and provides a way for us to structure and occupy our time. Employers offer work place wellness programs to improve the health and well-being of their employees, increase their productivity, reduce their risk of costly chronic diseases, and improve control of chronic conditions. In 2012, half of all employers with at least 50  employees offered programs, and nearly half of employers without a program said they intend to introduce one. Something to be mindful of when staying connected via technology is the pressure of “virtual presenteeism”. This is the expectation for people to be constantly connected and reachable all the time. To reply to an email immediately, for fear of being thought to be slacking off. Uncover extra particulars about Mental Health At Work Initiatives in this  Health and Safety Executive entry.

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