We’re hearing the expressions, “the new normal” and “now, more than ever” with regard to how COVID-19 has impacted our personal and professional lives.
Well, now more than ever, our new normal must include care for your employee’s mental well-being.
Mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choices. Mental health impacts us at every stage and all aspects of life.
This Forbes article compiled the results of several studies, including the following American stats:
- The economy is now a significant source of stress for 70% of Americans, compared to 46% in 2019
- 55% of those surveyed are showing clinical signs of anxiety, depression, or both since the coronavirus pandemic began when combined with financial hardship.
- The long-term psychological consequences of collective traumas can last a decade or more.
And finally, statistics show that the majority of employees feel that people experiencing mental health problems are not well supported in the workplace and considering only 50% of employees feel comfortable discussing mental health challenges; business owners need to take action NOW.
In response, some institutes (such as the CIPD) are encouraging organizations to take a more preventative approach to mental well-being and embrace a culture of openness in the workplace; to create healthier, more engaged and more productive workplaces.
A Unilever project in Brazil reported savings of $1200 per person through investing in employee mental wellness.
The CIPD recommends three ways in which line managers can make a difference:
- At the beginning of a new working relationship, be clear that no problem is too big, small or personal for an employee to raise.
- Work to create a culture of openness and encourage staff to discuss their challenges. Make time to have conversations that go beyond a person’s immediate and short-term workload and discuss their role, responsibilities, and opportunities in general.
- Know when and how to direct people to access specialist help either internally through the organization, such as counselling and/or occupational health services, or externally via mental health groups and charities.
The website Workplace Strategies for Mental Health also provides excellent information and practices to apply in your workplace.
Our collective recovery depends on the leadership of business owners and managers. Applying proactive mental health measures now can only help to ensure the future of your business.
Thank you to former TBT Intern, João Vitor “Mathias” De Medeiros, for the original article.