MENTAL HEALTH AWARENESS WEEK HAS JUST ENDED –– WHAT WILL YOU DO DIFFERENTLY NOW?
Here’s why employee mental health is so important.
Mental Health Awareness Week has just ended, which aimed to help everyone achieve better mental health in both their personal and working lives. This last year has been extremely tough for many of us, with feelings of isolation, anxiety and stress caused by Covid-19 and the lockdowns. Compounded, perhaps with being on furlough or being made redundant.
It’s no surprise that mental health issues are increasing, according to HSE almost half of all work-related ill health cases in 2019/2020 were caused by stress, depression or anxiety.
The country is starting to ease out of lockdown. It is vitally important that mental health should still be top of employers lists. Putting mental health at the top of your agenda will help you attract and retain better quality staff and improve the employee’s morale and experiences both in the workplace and in their home life.
What could be impacting your staff’s mental health right now.
CONTINUING EFFECTS OF COVID-19 Between not being able to see friends and family, furlough and anxieties around our physical health, Covid-19 has taken its toll on our mental wellbeing.
CONTINUING ANXIETIES ABOUT COVID-19 AND RETURN TO WORK: Stress in the workplace is higher than normal, In the last year,
INCREASE IN DEMAND FOR MENTAL HEALTH SUPPORT, BUT IT’S STILL NOT SEEN AS A PRIORITY: As an employer you have a duty of care for your employees, including looking after their mental health as much as their physical health.
HOW BUSINESSES CAN SUPPORT STAFF MENTAL HEALTH:
It’s pretty obvious that staff will need mental health support long after this awful 12 month period they have just gone through. I hope you agree, this could be the catalyst your business was needing to now provide continual support.
Here’s what you may wish to consider-
- Promote a healthy work life balance: having a good balance between our work and our home lives can help with our mental health as it can help reduce stress. Consider a 4 day week, offer one weekend off per month.
- Have your supervisors and managers set an example: when the senior leaders in your business are prioritising their own wellbeing, it makes it easier for all staff to follow suit. They should be positive role models, displaying good behaviours.
- Provide training for your line managers: the managers in your company are the best placed to look after their teams, so make sure they know what the signs of mental health issues are and where employees can get further support. Consider training them further by attending a Mental Health First Aid certificated course.
- Hold regular sessions to talk about mental health: whether that’s a monthly webinar giving advice about managing stress or work life balance or weekly meditation and mindfulness sessions.
- Listen to your employee’s concerns: several staff members could be concerned about the return to work, so make sure you talk to them and see how you can help.
- Highlight the benefits you provide: many employees may not be aware of the benefits you have, or if they are, the extent to which they can help. Make sure you’re regularly communicating your employee benefits like EAPs (Employee Assistance programme) and how your employees can access it.