Depending when you read this post, it is / was Mental Health Awareness week. This is a week focussed on improving mental health both in the workplace and at home. You’ll no doubt be already aware of the statistic that 1 in 4 people will have some sort of mental health issue or condition during their lifetime – but the question for you as an employer and a line manager is what you can do to help?
People will often avoid talking openly about mental health because perhaps they worry about the reaction they might get when they talk about their illness or in the case of being a line manager are scared of causing upset or offence. But talking honestly and openly is one of many ways managers and employers can help their staff. You don’t have to be a trained counsellor to do this – listening and empathy is key and there are lots of resources out there to help you. (the MIND website is particularly helpful.)
You may also want to promote mental wellbeing to your staff to help them realise that there are some simple things that they can do to keep themselves well. One of the mental health awareness campaigns that is currently being promoted is called the 5 ways to wellbeing. These key ways or things are:
- Be active
- Take notice / be mindful
- Keep learning
And you can read more details of them at 5 ways to wellbeing
When you look at these in more detail, all of them are easily achievable in any workplace be it big or small. It is a matter of how you engage and encourage staff to take steps to keep themselves as mentally fit and well as they can. It could be by promoting activities such as a skills swap, holding a “bake off” or volunteering in your local community.
There are some excellent resources out there to help you too. You may want to visit the MIND website or that of the Business Disability Forum?
Or if you truly want to put wellbeing – both physical and mental – at the heart of your business why not talk to us about developing a wider health and wellbeing strategy that is tailor made for your business.