Poor mental health in the workplace can be one of the biggest issues in the lives of many workers. The way we think, feel and behave can have a real impact on important factors such as productivity, communication, even health and safety practices. As such, promoting better mental health could be one of the biggest and best things that your organisation can do in order to help with your employee's long-term mental health.
The biggest issues that your employees can face in terms of mental health can include depression, anxiety and commonly self-esteem issues. The culmination of which is poor mental health for your staff and even a loss of earnings for your business. Which can be caused by more absences, less work being completed and a high turnover rate.
So, how can you, as an employer, work to improve the overall mental health in your workplace and help employees lead more mentally stimulated lives?
Create a Healthy Environment
The thing is that if you work in a toxic environment, then it is more than likely that your mental health will also follow suit whether you want it to or not. Of course, some people are born with biology that is more prone to mental health problems than others and this has an impact. But, many issues are also produced by a bad overall environment or company culture. For example, expecting employees to work demanding work hours, answer calls or emails outside of work hours, and other requests which should be outside the realms of their job.
Nearly one-third of our time is spent at work, which is why it is so vital for this workspace to be much healthier on the whole. Simple ways to try and promote this in the workplace includes encouraging exercise, ensuring breaks are taken at appropriate interludes, even stress reduction exercises can be appropriate if you think them necessary.
Teach Workers to Identify Problems
Healthy mental awareness should be something you encourage in all of your staff, from the intern all the way to the CEO. But, teaching it to a group of people who may not be altogether receptive can be the difficult part.
Having an actual mental health professional speak to your staff can also help with better teaching and further understanding of problems in your staff. This way, at least, your staff will have access to the appropriate information needed rather than simply being told to feel mentally better. You could also have this professional do free screenings in order to encourage your employees to actually get checked out and provide these on a regular basis. It could even be simply a thing such as a vitamin D supplements to improve mood.
Create Resources to Assist Employees
Sometimes talking about issues isn’t enough and employees are more likely to ignore a ‘one-off’ talk than take any real benefit from it. So, you can’t really put in a small token effort and expect that to be a fix-all for your employee's long-term mental health. Having a supply of resources, such as leaflets and regular ‘Mental Health Days’ can really help to change your company culture for the better and ensure a long-term benefit for the issue.
As a business, stepping over boundaries when it comes to mental health is not advised. Instead, you need to put in place practices which allow the employee the room and the tools so that they can realistically help themselves. Not everyone will be receptive, but it could be a real benefit for those that are.