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Helping workers engage with mental health interventions

Date posted
16 May 2024
Type
Opinion
Author
Dr Karen Michell
Estimated reading time
2 minute read

Dr Karen Michell, our research programme lead for occupational health, is blogging regularly throughout mental health awareness week from 13–19 May. Today, Karen looks at what interventions work best for supporting workers' mental health in small and medium sized enterprises.

In the previous blog, I explored the barriers to implementing mental health interventions in SMEs. This may have made it all sound like doom and gloom but there is some good news. The MENTUPP research identified some key considerations to facilitate the uptake of interventions in the workplace.

  • Strengthening commitment of managers and supervisors through education and training. This is to ensure they understand the relevance and benefits mental health interventions bring to the organisation that subsequently improves uptake.
  • Regular communications about ongoing interventions that are in place and how they can be accessed increases awareness and reinforces the messages that need to be conveyed. These messages reduce the stigma and normalise conversations around mental health.
  • Raising worker awareness through campaigns focused on both positive aspects of mental health and not just the negative aspects are helpful. Increased awareness among workers again helps to address issues associated with stigma and fear of discrimination.
  • Bite-sized interventions are impactful and engaging. They help to get the message across succinctly and avoid information overload. These short and sweet messages cause minimum workplace disruptions and make it easier for workers to engage, increasing their motivation to use them.

There is a need to normalise the conversations around mental health in the workplace. This is especially true in male-dominated workplaces as males are far more likely not to discuss their mental health1.

Where this is achieved, a supportive environment is created allowing workers to address their mental health concerns with less fear of discrimination and stigmatisation.

References

  1. Coppens E, Hogg B, Greiner BA, Paterson C, de Winter L, Mathieu S, et al. Promoting employee wellbeing and preventing non-clinical mental health problems in the workplace: a preparatory consultation survey. Journal of Occupational Medicine and Toxicology. 2023;18(1):17.

Last updated: 17 May 2024

Dr Karen Michell

Job role
Research Programme Lead (Occupational Health)
Company
IOSH

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Themes

  • Health and wellbeing
  • Understanding the barriers
  • 'No mind left behind'
  • Strategy for success