In the past, most employers thought that mental health was a “personal and private matter”, and not in the purview of leaders to become involved in an employee’s depression, learning disability, addiction, anxiety, among other matters of mental health.
Today, we know better. We know that work plays a vital role in a person’s overall wellness. We know that workplace practices that support good mental health have tremendous positive outcomes for the organization and the individual.
Here are six tips for promoting mental health at work.
When employees lack purpose in their role, they may disconnect or disengage from work – and yet all positions have a purpose that can be highlighted. Employees who don’t feel their purpose at work suffer from more depression and take more sick leave. (Lost Connections, Chapter 6: Disconnection from Meaningful Work, Johann Hari).
Employers can demonstrate an employee’s value by:
Remote work is becoming increasingly more common, and people often work alone behind a computer all day. A lack of personal interaction and one-on-one communication can lead to increased loneliness and depression.
Employers can encourage personal connections by:
The internet, social media and gaming are all amazing – but they’re also addictive and may impact mental health. While people believe they are “connected” in cyberspace, there remains the human need to be connected – to see and hear each other as social beings. According to the Canadian Mental Health Association, excessive tech use can deepen depression and anxiety.
Employers can encourage a healthy dose of technology by:
Healthy eating, regular exercise and sustainable sleeping habits are all known contributors to positive mental health.
Employers can support personal wellness by:
There has long been a stigma surrounding mental health. To breakthrough that barrier, employers can demonstrate openness in thoughts, dialogue, and business practices. In doing so, you’ll build a culture of support enabling teams to thrive together and achieve top results.
Employers can encourage a culture of support by:
These are the three actions taught in Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) training. MHFA can be offered to an employee until the appropriate treatment is identified. It focuses on identifying changes in behaviour (recognize), having a confidential discussion (respond) and providing the appropriate resources and support (guide). Employers can explore MHFA training here.
Additional workshops and training opportunities for employers on the subject of mental health: