Untold Fundamentals About Workplace Mental Health

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Being in paid employment is generally considered to be a good thing. It’s more than just a way of earning a living: it provides identity, contact and friendship with other people, a way of putting structure in your life, and an opportunity to meet goals and to contribute. And while it’s possible to embrace an alternative point of view, and thrive without paid work, unemployment is linked with poor physical and mental health, and poverty. However, paid employment brings its own pressures on your mental health. Depression and anxiety have a significant economic impact; the estimated cost to the global economy is US$ 1 trillion per year in lost productivity. Mental ill-health is estimated to cost private sector employers an average of £1716 per employee and public sector employers £1652 each year. Every one of us should have the knowledge, tools and confidence, to understand and look after our own mental health and the mental health of those around us. Most people spend one-third or more of their waking time working. Gallup’s analytics and academic research show that there is a reciprocal relationship between work and life overall — that is, people take their work experience home and their home experience to work. Organizations demand a person’s full energy at work. It is in both the individual’s and the organization’s best interest for people to thrive in all aspects of their life. Most of us will know someone – whether it’s ourselves, a family member, friend or colleague – who lives with a mental health problem.

Workplace Mental Health Programs Approaches

Employers know that people perform better when they feel able to put everything into their job and when they are confident, motivated and completely focused on doing that. Good mental health underpins this. By positively managing and supporting employees’ mental wellbeing, employers can ensure that staff perform to their potential – and this allows the business to achieve peak performance. Despite the evolution that’s occurred throughout the years, there is still misunderstanding, mishandling and miscategorization of the behavior of people when it comes to mental health and mental illness. This is apparent in society in general, and prolific in the workplace. And, these misunderstandings are the foundation of many roadblocks that make people nervous to talk about their mental health or mental illness at work. The best employers take a proactive approach to their employee’s wellbeing. They understand one simple truth. A happier workforce is a more productive, enthusiastic and loyal workforce. When having mental health conversations with team members at work, get your timing right: don’t bring up mental health in an annual review for the first time. Organisations can make sure their employee benefits package provides support for workplace wellbeing ideas today.

  1. Performance Pressure

Organisations with strong organisational health (i.e., investment in quality people management) typically exhibit better service delivery performance. Organisational health is associated with stronger financial performance, typically 2.2 times above average. Unfortunately, employees around the world don’t think their companies are doing enough to improve mental wellbeing — 76% believe their organizations should be doing more. Many people spend more time in the workplace than at home. That’s why it’s essential to create a work environment that’s focused on the well-being of its people. As companies realize the link between their employees’ mental health and their performance, many have started to implement workplace wellness initiatives. According to a 2017 national survey by the American Psychological Association (APA), the workplace was reported as the third-leading cause of stress (61 percent), after money (62 percent) and the future of the nation (63 percent). Younger employees suffer more from poor mental health and struggle with the confidence to communicate this in the workplace. Keeping this mind when implementing an employee health and wellbeing programme means you’ll be able to focus on the people that need the most support. Tailor your organisation’s initiatives to help improve communication and build trust. Don't forget to send out proper internal communications around workplace wellbeing support in your organisation.

What are your thoughts on your job? You are not bound to suffering if you are worried and dissatisfied but feel trapped with no choices. Whether your job is moderately stressful or plagued with friction and challenges, there are techniques to boost your psychological well-being at work. According to specialist literature, exercise can also help reduce stress at work either in the form of company sport activities, fitness or jogging groups. It is therefore a good idea to include it as an element of the company prevention strategy. Because poor mental health is likely to be a ‘hidden’ disability and many people are reluctant to disclose a condition, it is good practice for an employer to make adjustments for someone experiencing poor mental health even if they do not necessarily consider they have a disability under the Equality Act. Regulations around workplace health have become increasingly sophisticated, moving from general health and safety legislation and working with disabilities to specifying employee health, wellbeing and mental health. It’s estimated that each year, around 300,000 people in the U.K. lose their jobs due to long-term mental health problems. All of this represents a serious issue of unequal access to well-being support in the workplace. Subjects such as managing employees with mental health issues can be tackled by getting the appropriate support in place.

  1. Adults Spend Most Of Their Waking Hours At Work

Organising charity events at work generates a feeling of belonging within your team. The act of generosity is associated with enhancing community identity and promoting wellness across the workplace. Volunteering provides a way for individuals to express their values, strengthening social relationships within the office. Being burned out means feeling empty and mentally exhausted, devoid of motivation, and beyond caring. People experiencing burnout often don’t see any hope of positive change in their situations. If excessive stress feels like you’re drowning in responsibilities, burnout is a sense of being all dried up. And while you’re usually aware of being under a lot of stress, you don’t always notice burnout when it happens. We all have times when we can’t cope. We are often clear about how we support a colleague or team member through bereavement, a divorce, or with caring responsibilities. The same skills of empathy, flexibility, time, boundaries and support apply in supporting staff in distress. An estimated one in five American adults suffers from a mental illness, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness. And yet, the topic of mental health can still feel taboo. Beat the stigma by speaking openly and candidly about mental wellness in the workplace. Share articles, resources, and books with your team. Then, keep the conversation going. In the past decade, almost 200,000 Mental Health First Aiders (MHFAs) have been trained in the UK. In 2017, the Conservative Party’s General Election manifesto promised that it would amend health and safety legislation ‘so that employers provide appropriate first aid training and needs-assessment for mental health, as they currently do for risks to physical health’. Thinking about concepts such as how to manage an employee with anxiety is really helpful in a workplace environment.

We know that individuals with a mental health condition can find it harder to find employment, but there are 1.5 million individuals in the UK with a diagnosed long-term mental health condition in work and the rate of employment has increased. Everyone has mental health and, like physical health, it fluctuates along a spectrum from good to poor. Work can have a huge impact – it can promote well-being or trigger problems. Consequently, the causes of unmanageable stress and mental health problems are often complex. Mental wellbeing is a dynamic state in which the individual is able to develop their potential, work productively and creatively, build strong and positive relationships with others and contribute to their community. It is enhanced when an individual is able to fulfil their personal and social goals and achieve a sense of purpose in society. Valued employees are lost when employers do not invest in mental health. Staff turnover as a result of employees leaving their jobs due to mental health problems costs £2.4 billion each year. 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. Communication that emphasizes that leadership cares about concepts such as employers duty of care mental health should be welcomed in the working environment.

  1. Performance Dips Caused By Mental Health Issues

When risks to mental health are not addressed they can cause mental ill health, have an impact on employees and their families, and lead to workers’ compensation claims. It can also adversely affect team relations and productivity, absenteeism, employee turnover, accidents, and customer and client complaints. It is crucial that leadership in promoting better mental health comes from the top – from key decision makers, whether they are the chief executive, board members or members of the senior management team. Working environments that pose risks for mental wellbeing put high demands on a person without giving them sufficient control and support to manage those demands. A perceived imbalance between the effort required and the rewards of the job can lead to stress. A sense of injustice and unfairness arising from management processes or personal relationships can also increase stress and risks to mental health. Stumble upon further intel about Workplace Mental Health Programs Approaches in this Health and Safety Executive entry.

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