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Mental health at work
What is rousing about Employer's Mental Health Programs nowadays?

Creating good mental health wellbeing in the work place can include encouraging and role-model mindfulness, taking breaks away from work, eating away from desks, stretching. Create quiet spaces indoors and out. Also, pay attention to sick leave and annual leave – if someone’s off sick a lot, can you help? If someone’s not taking annual leave, encourage them to take a break. or complex. There is still a stigma associated with mental health problems, through a lack of understanding. Whether it’s an economic crisis, political unrest, natural disasters or other big current events, there’s always something that’s emotionally, financially, socially, or physically impacting people and potentially causing tremendous stress. There are many people who channel their mental health struggles into their work, almost as a way of using that energy in a different way and redirecting their focus so they don’t feel the emotional distress as intensely or feel hampered by it. You're enjoying your weekend after an exhausting week, walking in the great outdoors. But bad luck is about to hit you. You take an unfortunate tumble, and the awkward landing results in a broken leg. Work is a no-go given that you can't hobble to or sit comfortably at your desk. You're given time to recover, which is great. But what about illnesses we can't see? If you have an unrealistically heavy workload, admitting to yourself and appropriate others where possible that you can’t do it all is the first step towards getting the situation back under control.

Workplace mental health needs to be an important part of the wider transformation of how society approaches mental health, empowering individuals as employees to require transparency of their employers, and understand how to support themselves and others. Improving mental health and wellbeing is a global challenge and it’s every bit as important inside the workplace as it is outside of it. In fact, it could be affecting more people than you realise; research suggests 77% of employees have experienced symptoms of poor mental health at some stage in their lives. Only three quarters of people with mental health problems receive any support. Among those who do receive care, too few have access to the full range of evidence based interventions. Government and NHS bodies need to continue their work to put mental health on a par with physical health. Mental health problems will always exist and we still need improvement in the access to, and quality of, clinical care available through the NHS. Have you felt over-stretched yourself both in and outside of work recently? Are you trying to juggle both a busy job with lots of social activities, hobbies, commitments like childcare, etc? Organisations can make sure their employee benefits package provides support for how to manage an employee with anxiety today.

Support Staff Who Are Experiencing Mental Health Problems

All employers can and should routinely monitor employee mental health and wellbeing by understanding available data, talking to employees, and understanding risk factors. The practical implications for employers is that they can consider advocating for increased federal funding for workplace health research and may even fund their own well-designed studies in partnership with academic institutions. While there are positive ways to view mental health and mental illness in the context of work, it is also important to acknowledge when the impact can be negative and what that manifestation can look like. Managers who regularly ask staff how they are and take an interest in their team’s lives outside work are more likely to build trust and therefore effectively prevent and manage stress at work. Conversely, managers who assume staff are okay, are indecisive and inconsistent, give mostly negative feedback and create unrealistic deadlines are likely to exacerbate stress. Most adults spend a significant proportion of their waking hours at work, so it is inevitably a setting where problems are often experienced. Employment can also have both a positive and negative impact on an individual’s mental health. The nature of work is changing and all workplaces are not the same. Communication that emphasizes that leadership cares about concepts such as managing employees with mental health issues should be welcomed in the working environment.

Corporate leaders should prioritize assessing their employees’ mental and emotional health by understanding what factors to measure and how to capture them. Digital tools and compassionate, destigmatizing communication strategies are important parts of the assessment process. It’s probably not a shock to learn that people with a mental health problem are three times more likely to take a long-term sickness absence, and that’s a clear problem for businesses—but there’s an answer… You can never be certain when a particular member of staff will need support from an expert in psychology, human services, social work or financial advice. Establishing a positive culture in the work place must always be proactive, although an important point to raise is that employees are not necessarily going to be won over simply by reading a circular. Cultural change will take time to embed. But this will occur more quickly if there are clear signs of this two-way communication being encouraged. Burnout may be the result of unrelenting stress, but it isn’t the same as too much stress. Stress, by and large, involves too much: too many pressures that demand too much of you physically and mentally. However, stressed people can still imagine that if they can just get everything under control, they’ll feel better. Thinking about concepts such as employers duty of care mental health is really helpful in a workplace environment.

Investing In Emotional Wellness

External triggers may have an effect on an employee’s mental health and well-being, such as childhood abuse, trauma or neglect, social isolation or loneliness. Managers are in a unique position to recognise when an employee may be struggling and not functioning well at work. Having an early exploratory conversation is important because you may be able to provide some early workplace support which helps get things back on track. This can also encourage the employee to get help from their support networks, such as family, friends, peer support workers or mental health professionals. Individual strategies focus on promoting protective factors and reducing risk factors at the employee level. For example, employers can offer digital mental health programs (web-based or apps) that aim to equip employees with knowledge and skills to manage work-related stressors more effectively. Employees dealing with different challenges require different types of support and the matrix helps business leaders identify that. For instance, an employee working through a diagnosed mental health condition may have different needs than an employee dealing with a personal situation. An employee confronting a trigger unique to the workplace requires a different type of support than an employee navigating intersectional challenges stemming from their perception around others' prejudices. Improving psychological health and safety is a process of continual improvement. Everyone needs to be involved. Even though it may not be easy to become an employee-centric company addressing workplace wellbeing ideas it is of utmost importance in this day and age.

In recent years, there has been a surge in positive attitudes about well-being in the workplace initiatives, however, many companies are slow to implement them. Understanding their benefits and using them, could be the edge that your organisation needs. Terminology is important when talking about mental health or dealing with someone who is experiencing a mental health condition. What may be appropriate language for clinicians may be less helpful for employers or job seekers. The phrase 'mental ill health' or ‘mental health issue’ can be used to describe the distress someone is experiencing. Ongoing preventive measures that support the health and well-being of staff can ultimately contribute to a happy workforce as well as the sustainability of the business. Mental wellbeing at work is not isolated from wellbeing at home and vice versa. Being healthy and happy in one can significantly improve wellbeing in the other. Mental health has become a common discussion point within the UK, with reported cases on the rise. However, it may be the case that mental health simply didn’t receive as much attention as it did before. Either way, the effect of mental health is prominent; it can lead to extremely negative consequences to individuals’ lives, much the same as physical conditions. An opinion on workplace wellbeing support is undoubtebly to be had in every workplace in the country.

Take Stock

Interventions and good practices that protect and promote mental health in the workplace include implementation and enforcement of health and safety policies and practices, including identification of distress, harmful use of psychoactive substances and illness and providing resources to manage them. Every employee exists somewhere on the mental health continuum, from surviving to thriving. It’s normal for their position on this continuum to fluctuate. However, evidence now indicates that there is a mental health epidemic occurring. Organisations should establish good two-way communication to ensure staff involvement, particularly during periods of organisational change. Check out supplementary details relating to Employer's Mental Health Programs on this Health and Safety Executive link.

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