6 Things You Can Do To Support Employee Mental Health At Work
Published: 15 Nov 2017
Mental health is garnering more attention year-on-year and rightly so. With a flurry of high profile support for the destigmatisation of mental illness and ever-increasing knowledge, mental health is finally getting the attention it deserves. Of course, there is so much more that can be done but many UK workplaces are now starting to recognise the importance of good mental health and, in turn, have taken steps to prioritise the mental wellbeing of their employees. A report by Business in the Community, in partnership with MHFA England and Mind, found that as many as 1.2 million UK employees have faced demotion, disciplinary or dismissal, after disclosing their mental health issues at work. This statistic is purely horrifying to us and it’s time to give employers some advice on the straightforward steps they can take to support their people:
Create a mental health at work plan
Draw attention to mental wellbeing as a crucial element to the success of your workplace. Mental health problems are often not visible to the naked eye, so you need to be prepared to assist any employee at any time. Get your senior people together and create a plan which aims to offer support to employees with mental health issues, as and when they arise. It would also be a good idea to offer Mental Health First Aid to any members of staff who would like to take it as another level of internal preparation.
Build mental health awareness by making information and support accessible
You can do this through your company intranet or any other internal communication streams that you use. Create and share information on mental health to ensure your employees know that support is available across the organisation. Simply being perceived as open and honest in your approach can reduce the impact that poor mental health could have on your business. By demonstrating an understanding of it, you’ll foster a stronger, more transparent culture with healthier and happier staff.
Encourage open conversations
Talking is one of the most, if not the most important form of therapy for someone struggling with a mental illness, and this extends further than the doctor’s office. Being able to talk openly about mental health struggles can literally save lives. Whilst there is still a stigma surrounding mental illness, there definitely shouldn’t be. Showing yourself to be inviting of this type of conversation can have a huge impact on the life of an employee who may be quite unwell whilst under your employ.
Provide good working conditions and ensure employees have a healthy work-life balance
Hectic schedules, stress and lack of sleep can all be contributing factors to the development of mental health problems. It’s your responsibility as an employer to offer a positive working environment, giving your employees the opportunity to flourish and grow in a safe and inviting setting. You wouldn’t make your employees work in rough physical conditions due to ‘health and safety’, so don’t let them work in socially harsh surroundings.
Promote effective people management, with line managers holding regular conversations about health and well-being with their staff
Mental health problems can be easily misunderstood and it’s important to inspire open communications among line managers and their teams. Mental healthcare should be a priority for every employer in 2017 and moving forward. Good management can go a long way in helping to prevent mental health problems from deteriorating further so it’s key to establish a good pathway of support and conversation throughout all levels of the business.
Routinely monitor employee mental health
This really is an accumulation of all the points listed above. It’s important to always be aware of mental health among employees and to continuously be alert to possible signs of difficulty. People spend the majority of their time at work, so it’s your responsibility as an employer to have the best interests of your employees at heart. With further awareness, understanding and empathy we can stop mental health issues from developing into larger, more debilitating problems.
At OnlyMarketingJobs we only like to work with employers who take the wellbeing of their staff seriously, both physically and mentally. We value the notion of a positive workplace which allows employees to express themselves, feel respected and have access to support at all levels. We hope this has given you a bit of food for thought and if you’re an employer who supports this, we would love to carry your jobs on our website. For more opportunities as a recruiter on OnlyMarketingJobs, check out some of our latest products and get in touch.