Mental Health in the Workplace
With 2017 now underway have you made your New Year’s Resolution?
If not, or even if you have, why not consider taking more time to care for yourself and your own mental wellbeing?
Mental Health usually has negative connotations but is defined by the World Health Organisation as
“a state of well-being in which the individual realizes his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to his or her community.”
Thus everyone has mental health, whether that be positive mental health or ill mental health and this is a continuously changing state depending on the circumstances, environment and pressures that an individual finds themselves.
Mental ill health was the second most common cause of long-term absence (absence lasting four weeks or more) in 2016 according to the CIPD Absence Management Survey.
Employers often find it easier to support employees once mental health problems are identified but are not so good at promoting positive mental health.
So, what can Employers and Employees do to take care of Mental Health at work?
Some key points that will assist in taking care of mental health at work are:-
ensuring that the employee’s capabilities fit with the requirements of their role;
increasing awareness of mental health;
if an employee is showing signs of distress then allow them the time and resources to talk about this with an appropriate person;
when an employee is absent from work on sick leave, ensure the lines of communication remain open and plan a supported return to work;
managing long-term illness;
providing resources, support and information.
Taking the following steps can improve your wellbeing and reduce ill mental health.
Connecting with those close to you, friends, family and colleagues, can support and assist with everyday life. Invest time in developing your connections.
Physical activity can impact positively on your mental wellbeing. The activity can be adapted to your level of fitness and ability so choose something that you enjoy!
Have a look around and experience what is going on around you. Take the time to reflect on any changes and how this makes you feel.
Try something new or set yourself a challenge to achieve something. Learning something new will help to improve your confidence and mental wellbeing.
Giving your time, by volunteering or helping in the community, will help others as well as improve your own positive mental health. Helping others and volunteering is rewarding and will add to your network of connections enabling you to connect with more people.
You don’t have to experience ill mental health before you decide to start taking steps to improve your mental wellbeing; making small changes and encouraging or taking steps toward good mental health should be present in your everyday life.