#WorldMentalHealthDay took the internet by storm last Wednesday; you won’t have been able to scroll through your Twitter, Instagram or Facebook feeds without viewing countless posts from those who it really means something to, or those who just wanted to join in spreading the word, because… it is word worth spreading!
The hashtag was attached to personal experiences, celebrities sharing their stories, and words of wisdom and encouragement being shared. Mental health should be approached in the same vein as physical health, often medications need to be taken to help, exercises carried out to strengthen and motivate and precautions taken to help avoid injury or deterioration.
14.7% of us suffer mental health problems in the workplace, and 12.7% of sick days can be attributed to mental health issues. We spend around 1 third of our life in the workplace, and whether your employees love their workplace, tolerate it or hate it, there are things that you can do as an employer to help and things that you can encourage your employees to do themselves to enhance workplace wellbeing.
Communication points: Communication is so important in the workplace anyway, but having an open line of communication between all levels of management and peers too means that if employees do feel the need to talk, they will feel welcome and able to do so. Open door policies are often boasted but not followed through, ensure you do! You could try putting specific points of contact in place for each department so if your employee needs to talk, they know who to go to.
Improvements to the workplace environment: Elements that can be controlled and changed in the workplace environment can help with motivation and workplace wellbeing, such as lighting, desk options and break areas.
Education: Make sure all employees and management are well educated on the effects and signs of mental health issues, so that no matter who employees experiencing issues might speak to, these signs will not be missed and go unnoticed or ignored.
Activities: Offering relaxation or mindful activities in the workplace, for example a morning session of Yoga once a week, or a meditation afternoon on a Wednesday, can break the workplace environment and give employees an escape before returning to work.
You might also want to check our blog on employee wellbeing for more ideas on helping your employees.