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Have you ever settled down to unearth tips in relation to Employee Mental Health Programs just to find yourself staring aghast at your computer monitor? I know that I have.

Many employers still feel uncertain about their responsibilities around protecting employees set out in the Equality Act 2010 and using health questionnaires during recruitment, as well as how to make suitable reasonable adjustments for employees experiencing a mental health problem. More people are in work with a mental health condition than ever before, but many individuals with mental health problems are struggling emotionally, off sick, less productive, or leaving employment. 300,000 people with a long term mental health condition leave employment every year, equivalent of the whole population of Newcastle or Belfast. Make sure your company provides employee mental health benefits and services — including everything from individual and couples counseling to group therapy. Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs), for instance, provide access to services that allow employees to reduce stress related to childcare, housecleaning and running errands. Changing the conversation can be a measure of success, allowing an open workplace on broader aspects and application of mental health. As training alone cannot fix the problem, the culture of the organisation can play a big role in being open. Everyone has mental health and, like physical health, it fluctuates along a spectrum from good to poor. Work can have a huge impact – it can promote well-being or trigger problems. Consequently, the causes of unmanageable stress and mental health problems are often complex. Think about how we talk about mental health today, the variety of terminology we have to name our emotions, feelings, thoughts, behaviors, and actions. We haven’t always had these terms of expression. What we use now is an evolution of and reference to the original terminology created in a clinical setting, that was eventually adapted into larger societal usage.

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Stigma is reduced when people can talk openly about mental health. This leads to more understanding and a greater likelihood people will seek support earlier. Employers play an important role in determining the conditions that impact a mental health-friendly workplace. While employers cannot realistically shape factors like urbanization or malnutrition, many characteristics are amenable to modification. According to the latest figures from MIND, the mental health charity for England and Wales, one in four people in the UK will experience a mental health issue each year. Mental Health America’s most recent report revealed the figures for the USA are one in five adults having issues, equating to more than 40 million Americans. Interventions and good practices that protect and promote mental health in the workplace include informing staff that support is available. For employers not investing in wellbeing initiatives, workplace wellbeing ideas can be a difficult notion to comprehend.

Every Company Has A Culture

Time to Change is England’s biggest programme to end stigma and discrimination faced by people with mental health problems. The programme is run by the charities Mind and Rethink Mental Illness. It aims to empower people to challenge stigma and speak openly about their own mental health experiences, as well as changing the attitudes and behaviours of the wider public. Someone does not have to be 100% well in order to work and in general, work is good for people's mental health. However, in some instances an employee may simply not be well enough to work. The lack of a clear beginning and end to the workday blurs the distinction between home and work life, leading to a muddle of demands and distractions. Some companies are promoting virtual commutes to mark the boundaries of the workday without the hassle of traffic or travel. Mental health should be reflected in all relevant workplace policies and a plan for delivering better mental health should be in place, with clear actions that can be achieved and reported back on every six months / year. Your approach to mental health will need to be reflective of the nature of your business and your workforce. Researching the approaches that other organisations in your sector are taking is a valuable exercise and can provide useful insights to help you develop your own strategy. Communication that emphasizes that leadership cares about concepts such as employers duty of care mental health should be welcomed in the working environment.

Openly discuss and bring up issues related to workplace mental health such as stress, depression and anxiety and make it clear that everyone struggles to stay mentally healthy sometimes. Educate your managers in spotting the signs of mental health problems and encourage them to talk to their team. Sometimes a caring conversation can be encouraging for the employee to get help. Mental health has become a common discussion point within the UK, with reported cases on the rise. However, it may be the case that mental health simply didn’t receive as much attention as it did before. Either way, the effect of mental health is prominent; it can lead to extremely negative consequences to individuals’ lives, much the same as physical conditions. We all have mental health, just as we all have physical health, and in both cases our health can vary from day to day. Organisations need to be aware that work can trigger or exacerbate such issues. Good management practice can play a powerful role in fostering wellbeing and sustaining good mental health. By mental health I do not mean “mental ill health”. I mean the mental health we all have, just as we all have physical health. The World Health Organisation defines good mental health as “A state of wellbeing in which every individual realises his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work roductively and fruitfully and is able to make a contribution to her or his community.” People have always looked to their managers for support, and that has increased since early 2020; tensions are at an all-time high. A leader’s actions and behaviors can serve as a guide to let team members know it’s OK to speak up and show vulnerabilities. Similarly to any change that happens within organizations, discussions around how to manage an employee with anxiety need planning and implementing properly.

Enhance Work-related Protective Factors

Aim to prevent periods of unnecessary stress by providing support before an issue arises. Create a mental health toolkit with accompanying literature and call a meeting to help your employees know the techniques, tools and coping mechanisms. Mental health is something we all have. When we enjoy good mental health, we have a sense of purpose and direction, the energy to do the things we want to do, and the ability to deal with the challenges that happen in our lives. For a long time, talking about mental health was a taboo subject, and it still can be for some people. Talk about stress management, self-care and mental health in emails, meetings etc. If your employees trust that you won’t think they are “crazy” then they are more likely to speak up and receive treatment. A health-focused culture in an organisation improves employee wellbeing and leads to higher job satisfaction and retention. The use of safe, respectful, and inclusive language is key to a psychologically healthy and safe workplace. Nearly half of workers under 40 say they feel stressed or anxious all or most of the time. All. Of. The. Time. Not just at work, but in their everyday lives. So it comes as no surprise the vast majority of those workers seek out a workplace with mental health benefits in place, according to the American Institute of Stress. Discussing ideas such as workplace wellbeing support is good for the staff and the organisation as a whole.

Good work consists of autonomy, fair pay, work life balance and opportunities for progression, and the absence of bullying and harassment. Good work can help prevent new mental health problems and support those with existing conditions to get on in work and thrive. We want all employers and employees to understand the benefits of good work, including those with mental health problems who may be off sick or out of work. Employers have a compelling interest for promoting positive mental health in the workplace, because adults spend most of their waking hours at work. Managers need to be aware of mental health conditions and of health and well-being issues in the workplace. They need to be able to resolve problems as they arise, using the range of tools, guidance and expert advice available. Stress is defined as the 'adverse reaction people have to excessive pressures or other types of demand placed on them'. Most staff benefit from a certain amount of pressure in their work. It can keep them motivated and give a sense of ambition. However, when there is too much pressure placed on them, they can become overloaded. The Health and safety executive (Hse) estimates that every year around 1.5 million people experience a health problem that they believe to have been caused by their current or past work: stress being the largest cause of work-related illnesses. Subjects such as managing employees with mental health issues can be tackled by getting the appropriate support in place.

Embed Employee Engagement

If an employee’s work declines or colleagues notice changes to their personality or mood, this can often indicate that something’s not quite right. They could be stressed from mounting debts, struggling with the loss of a loved one, or experiencing anxiety caused by difficulties at home. All of these factors impact on their mental wellbeing, which then affects their workplace performance. Whether your company does reviews annually, quarterly, or monthly, make wellness a part of the process. Take the opportunity to find out if your employees feel taken care of and ask for feedback on how the company is supporting your staff’s well-being. A review isn’t just a moment for managers to provide team members with individualized feedback; it’s a critical moment to hear from them whether they feel valued, heard, and cared for as members of the company. More broadly, society and the state should encourage collaboration with corporate employers to improve workplace mental health by investing in research and developing an improved evidence base, forming strategic partnerships with other stakeholder to spread best practice, and supporting workplace wellbeing initiatives such as the ‘Time to Change’ employer pledge and ‘This is Me’. One can uncover supplementary facts about Employee Mental Health Programs at this World Health Organisation entry.

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