In the past articles, I have presented different thinking methods to improve creativity, problem-solving and development processes. However, I would like to discuss Mental Health. A subject that has been gaining more and more attention lately.
Why learn about mental health in the workplace?
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.
According to recent CIPD (Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development) research, the number of people reporting mental health issues while employed has climbed from one-quarter to one-third over the last five years.
Despite this increase, a majority of employees feel that people experiencing mental health problems are not well supported in the workplace.
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.
Please, feel free to share and help developing better workplaces!