World mental health day – top tips for a mentally healthy workforce
As many businesses consider their contribution to World Mental Health Day, we have put together top tips on how you can support your employees with their mental health:
Talk openly about mental health. The best way to stop stigma in mental illness is to talk about it. Managers talking openly about mental health will help those who are struggling see that they are not alone.
Focus on Mental Health absence. Consider including mental health support in absence policies at work – do you differentiate between mental health illness and other types of illness? Maybe it’s time to consider treating the two differently.
Make managers aware. Employees won’t believe that you their employer cares about their mental health unless it is demonstrated at every level of management. This means training managers to understand how to start a conversation around mental health. Consider Mental Health first aiders so employees have a point of contact.
Ask. If you notice an employee behaving differently – ask them if they are ok. Listen.
Keep talking. Find opportunities to include the discussions around mental health in work so it remains in focus; and make subtle changes to working practices to help – introduce flexibility in the working day, consider a buddy scheme so new employees are not alone; think about how often teams communicate and meet together.
Foster a mentally healthy environment. Productivity, engagement, and overall wellbeing increase when the environment is healthy – encourage employees to step away from their desk for breaks, organise lunchtime walking, make a common space in the office for employees to eat together.
These small things will make a huge difference to how your employees perceive work. Making it easy to talk about mental health will make it easier to help those who are struggling.