Did you know that 1 in 5 Australians are currently facing a mental health condition, most commonly being depression or anxiety?
With figures so high, how can employers ensure a workplace that reduces the likelihood of these incidents in their workplace?
To raise awareness for Mental Health Week, here are 5 workplace strategies for promoting mental health wellbeing!
And better yet, these tips are cost-effective and will help enhance personal and organisational resilience and success!
And remember, events like Safe Work October, Mental Health Week, R U Okay? Day should not be confined to just one month or one certain day.
These are important practices to revise regularly and should be managed accordingly.
Create a culture focused on supporting mental health needs!
It is estimated that 93% of employees would rather lie about having an embarrassing physical health condition (e.g. food poisoning) than admit they are having problems dealing with their mental health.
When an employer develops a workplace culture that prioritises employees’ mental health, employees are more likely to seek help when they need it.
Managers and supervisors are encouraged to continually reinforce that the organisation prioritises mental wellbeing to employees.
This allows employees to share their ideas without the fear of any repercussions and truly be themselves.
Mentally healthy workplaces aren’t just about discussions. Hold seminars that promote work-life balance and effective strategies in dealing with the struggles of mental health.
This not only promotes a culture that prioritises mental health but demonstrates a caring relationship between employers and employees.
Provide employees with training on self-care, resilience and stress management. Promote work-life balance and equip employees with methods to destress when work becomes overwhelming.
Managers and supervisors are then to be trained on how to detect symptoms of mental health problems, such as workplace burnout, and how to respond to them appropriately.
When meeting with an employee to discuss their mental health, the first step is to plan!
Plan what you want to talk about and how you plan on delivering it. Decide whether you’d like to offer your employee to bring a support person.
Be aware of privacy obligations and that personal details should always be kept confidential!
And if you’re not feeling confident, you can always reach out to health professionals (psychologists, occupational therapists) who will be able to guide you appropriately.
Today, offices are transitioning to a more open-plan layout. This can be difficult for employees to get some personal space when needed.
Create a space in the office that allows employees to be alone for a moment and escape the hectic office environment when needed
For example, a break room that allows employees to relax, meditate, eat healthy snacks and maybe even take a nap!
Just having a space that allows employees to wind down can make such a huge difference!
This tip is often ignored by many organisations!
There are increasing studies revealing the impact of diet on mental health and will likely lead to a mentally healthy workplace! A good diet will prevent and treat depression and can greatly affect productivity.
If people are spending most of their lives at work employers must make sure that their diets at work are good.
Employers can do this by educating employees. Provide healthy food choices, healthy snacks in break rooms and healthy options during catering events.
This includes a selection of fresh fruits and vegetables, plant-based foods and limiting processed sugar and carbohydrates!
Creating a mentally healthy workplace:
3. Encourage Action