How to promote mental health and wellbeing in the workplace

Morgan McKinley 17.05.2019

Whatever your profession or level of seniority, we are all likely to feel stress in the workplace. Discussions are improving on a wide scale and organisations are doing more to help their employees.

Barometer of Mental Health in the Workplace

Throughout April 2019, we surveyed 1,100 UK based workers from various industries in order to gain a better understanding of professionals’ current state of mental health. Some key findings included; almost half of those questioned are either struggling with their mental health or think they have an issue, with 21% being formally diagnosed with a mental health issue, but only 27% of organisations have dedicated mental health initiatives in place, despite 98% of respondents believing productivity at work to be negatively affected when an individual is left unattended and is struggling with their mental health.

Click ‘Fullscreen’ below to view the interactive eBook of our findings or click here to download your own version.

How to promote mental health and wellbeing in the workplace on a daily basis

We all experience stress at work. Whilst there is no prescription cure to the issues that arise from being under significant pressure in the office, there are a few easy things we can do everyday to improve our mental wellbeing at work.

Watch the short video below to find out 5 simple but effective ways to improve your mental health at work.

Innovative ways companies are helping their employees

With the increased awareness of mental health in the workplace over recent years, numerous organisations have been taking significant steps in an attempt to help their staff and improve the culture around being comfortable discussing any issues that they might be experiencing. Some of these are simple benefit adjustments, whilst others are wider culture changes across the entire organisation in an attempt to encourage discussions.

We have identified 4 organisations that are doing this particularly well - Ernst & Young, Unilever, Innocent Drinks and Sweaty Betty. To find out exactly how they’ve been supporting the mental health of their employees, click here.

Managing and supporting people who are experiencing mental health issues

It is an important part of management in every organisation but quite often, managers are not fully equipped or trained to effectively help team members who are experiencing mental health problems. The office is a stressful place for many individuals and if they happen to be struggling already, work can really worsen the state of their mental health.

Depending on the person, they may not want to discuss their troubles with management or colleagues, so it is vital to keep an eye out for some of the telltale signs that someone might be struggling with their mental health. These can include; Consistent late arrival or increase in sickness absence, changes in mood, behaviour or ways they are interacting with others, drop off in standard of work or overall focus, appearing tired, anxious or withdrawn and lack of interest in tasks they previously enjoyed, drastic change in diet or increased smoking and drinking.

If there is an employee who is formally diagnosed, management must be able to properly support them when they’re in the workplace as well as when they may not be able to attend work. Reasonable adjustments could be made that will allow that individual to carry on with their role without being at a disadvantage because of their diagnosis. These could include:

  • Agree how regular contact will be maintained
  • Remain positive, professional and supportive
  • Discuss what information colleagues should be made aware of
  • Encourage a phased return to allow gradual reappearance in the office

If you think that you, or someone you know, are developing a mental health problem, it is important that you proactively speak to someone as soon as possible. There is help out there, look at some of the services available to everyone by clicking here.

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