Mental Health First Response in the workplace

Mental Health is a much-neglected aspect of business life that can significantly impact the efficiency and effectiveness of any workforce. In this post, we will look at why mental health is an essential factor for businesses to consider and what they can do to help their employees remain mentally well.

The importance of developing awareness skills around mental health and spotting when an employee might need support is an essential factor in maintaining a business’ health. People struggling with mental health problems often don’t reach out for help because they fear being stigmatized by employers or colleagues. These people are more likely to drop out of the workforce altogether, and the situation can even have an adverse effect on their co-workers, who can find it challenging to cover shifts if a member of staff is unable to do their job.

This kind of thinking makes discovering new ways businesses can help employees cope with mental wellbeing far more critical than ever before. But what kinds of things can businesses do to help maintain healthy levels of mental health among their employees?

It’s always essential to create an open culture where all staff are encouraged to speak up about problems affecting them or their work. By introducing this kind of environment, you allow your workforce to communicate with each other and share their experiences regarding dealing with stressful situations that come up, which can help support them in the long run.

What if certain staff members are struggling but don’t talk about it? If these staff members don’t talk about how they’re feeling, it could lead to problems developing, which affect productivity. So ideally, we try creating a safe space for them to speak up by keeping a close eye on who needs support. According to statistics shared by the Mental Health Foundation 

  • 1 in 6.8 people are experiencing mental health problems in the workplace (7%)
  • Women in full-time employment are nearly twice as likely to have a common mental health problem as full-time employed men (8% vs 10.9%)
  • Evidence suggests that 7% of all sickness absence days in the UK can be attributed to mental health conditions

Moreover, educating workers about workplace stress can be as important as encouraging openness between staff members and helping out those who need it most. Stress can be quickly worsened by mounting workloads, deadlines, job insecurity and the like. To counteract some of these opposing forces on mental health, it’s important to make time for activities like recreational breaks during the day, which encourages workers to take their minds off things for a moment.

Social support is also an essential factor in maintaining healthy levels of mental wellbeing. Your employees should always feel confident in seeking out psychological intervention if they need it. Sadly, many people don’t seek help because they worry that this could impact their future income or lead them to become isolated from colleagues. At the moment, as we plunge into the winter ahead, isolation and loneliness will take its toll on how we feel especially if we are not able to see friends and family with ease.

Strict hierarchies and closed-off environments can also inhibit mental wellbeing, so making your staff feel like they’re part of something that isn’t just about their career is crucial for ensuring that they don’t become overwhelmed by stress.

Stress is one of the most significant contributors to workplace problems these days. This has led many organisations implementing initiatives where employees can discuss how they’re feeling with each other before taking matters into their own hands or talking to management. By doing this, companies are looking out for employee wellbeing, which will hopefully lead to reduced stress levels and improved productivity in the long run.

In an ideal situation, there will always be people ready and willing to help others by offering their insight and advice in signposting – this is essential for maintaining healthy mental wellbeing levels among the workforce. Training specific staff in skills like learning how to notice how other people are feeling and identifying if their co-workers might be struggling can be a good way of helping out those who need it. Of course, you should ensure that no one member of staff ends up having to take on too much work because they’re the only ones prepared to ask questions about mental wellbeing in the workplace. Even just providing opportunities for your workers to connect with each other can help them to feel like someone will notice if problems start to develop.

However, it isn’t enough just to encourage your employees to speak openly about mental health; you also need to ensure that all staff members know where they can turn when they need support. Being able to offer this resource means that they don’t have to struggle alone, which goes a long way toward helping them feel like their mental health is a legitimate concern worth addressing.

There will often be times when people stumble right into the depths of despair. Its these moments where we need help from others around us because we sometimes can’t do it alone. To help your employees manage their mental health at work, you’ll need to make sure that they’re not bombarded with negative stimuli all day long. Consider implementing some kind of stress reduction policy designed to encourage healthy levels of productivity through the use of recreational breaks between tasks.

If your workers feel like something isn’t quite right with their mental health, try organising regular meetings where individuals can come together and discuss how they’re feeling.

It’s also important for organisations to promote positive initiatives at work, such as effective management and a workplace environment conducive to a healthy lifestyle. Several strategies can be employed here, such as using social media and communications to raise awareness about how mental health is different from mental illness – but they all come back to creating a culture where employees feel safe discussing their problems with each other.

 

Training staff to be mental health first responders gives them the skills to notice, act and signpost to support resources for those experiencing anxiety, stress and other conditions. This initiative has been successfully implemented in several different sectors. Our unique training works by identifying current stresses such as the covid pandemic and adapting our organisations to support positive mental health. Promoting wellness is one way to build a safer and more supportive work environment.

As is often the case, there’s no single solution that works for everyone, so we try and adapt our training to the needs of our audience.

If you’d like more information on how your business can benefit from our training, click here to contact us today.

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Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash

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