Globally, mental health is a rapidly growing issue. In many workplaces, mental health is still a taboo subject. Many organisations are not equipped with understanding, training, and resource to support the issue.
Why is mental health important in the workplace?
Organisations who are investing in mental health support for their workers, are the ones that will reap the rewards. Supporting workers with their mental health will help to;
- increase worker moral and staff motivation levels as well as reducing worker absence
- build trust between workers and an organisation
- create a positive work environment
- create a positive culture within an organisation.
It will have benefits externally, too. Job hunters searching for a new role are likely to desire an organisation that takes care of its workers, and by supporting workers in such a way is one way of demonstrating that.
How to talk about mental health in the workplace
Whilst workplaces may not seem like a haven to open up and talk about issues, workers might find this safer than you think. Organisations should aim to capitalise on the fact they offer a discreet, unbiased, neutral space for workers.
Providing specialists and rooms for workers to talk and discuss their issues is one way of achieving this. Not all organisations will have the resource to have this permanently on site, so offering a specialist one day a month and have a drop-in day for workers to be able to have the option to talk, maybe more feasible.
Understandably, not all workers will feel comfortable with face-to-face dialogue and may prefer alternative methods, this is where a worker wellbeing hotline will be of great use. Having a hotline will provide workers with a discreet service whilst still providing them with quality and unwavering support.
How to create a mental health friendly workplace
Creating a mental health friendly workplace starts from the top of the business, with the business leaders.
Leadership and commitment will drive and maintain positive change in the workplace. Accountability, set through a good mental health policy, will help to ensure the right actions are taken. Management commitment can be demonstrated by measuring performance and supporting promotional activity around mental health.
Ensuring the right support is available will boost worker moral and re-emphasise that the organisation is committed to supporting its workers with mental health issues.
How to promote mental health and wellbeing in the workplace
- Understand the benefits of why mental health is important in the workplace
- Ensure support is accessible for workers to discuss their issues (face to face, worker hotline)
- Use leadership and commitment to drive and maintain positive change
- Create a mental health policy to ensure right actions are taken
- Measure your performance
If you’re an organisation looking to implement a policy or an organisational approach, read our benchmarking questions guide.
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