Marking World Mental Health Day it was great to see so much activity and awareness being raised.
Recognising mental health in the workplace
Simon Blake the newly appointed Chief Executive at MHFA England shared an article following his first week with the organisation which outlined the amazing insight he had gained. Here are just a couple of snippets;
“Since May 2018 we have been working with mental health campaigner Natasha Devon and Bauer Media Group to gather support to make provision of Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) compulsory for employers. Over 200k people have signed a petition (you can add your name here if you haven’t already) to support the call.
Our vision is to normalise society’s attitudes to and behaviours around mental health by developing the skills we all need to look after our own and others’ wellbeing.”
5 tips to help employers support staff’s mental health
To support World Mental Health Day, Jaan Maden, Workplace Lead at MHFA England pulled together the following 5 practical tips to support employers.
Make sure leaders ‘walk the walk’
Leading from the front and talking about the importance of good mental health helps create transparency around the issue. Crucially, it gives employees confidence that their wellbeing is taken seriously, and that discussing mental health at work is okay.
Empower managers to support their team’s wellbeing
Managers have a unique role in ensuring employees are supported to overcome challenges with mental ill-health as the first point of contact. They should be empowered to recognise the signs that a colleague might be struggling with their mental health and feel confident offering reassurance or signposting to further support. It’s also important that managers are mindful of their own wellbeing and that, like senior leaders, they champion healthy behaviours.
Remove pressure to be ‘always on’
The pressure to be ‘always on’ can have an impact on our mental health. Research earlier this year showed that a third of people (32%) worry about work on their own time. And in a busy working world with technology at our fingertips, it’s easy for employees to slip into bad habits such as checking emails late at night and over the weekend.
Incentivise healthy habits
We all have mental health just as we have physical health and they are both connected. A healthy, balanced diet and regular physical activity are some of the key foundations of good mental health. Exercise releases endorphins, while eating well and avoiding too much sugar and caffeine are both helpful strategies to improve mental health.
Tools and tips
A range of emotional, physical and environmental factors can impact our mental health and we all deal with life’s stresses and strains differently. It’s important to provide employees with clear information to help them understand what mental ill health is, what the risk factors are, and the kinds of simple coping methods we can all use to better manage our mental health.
“There is no magic bullet to improving mental health, and for any mental health intervention to work you need strong leadership, the belief and determination of a committed and brave group of people who are willing to take some risks and learn fast.”
Simon Blake, Chief Executive. MHFA England
Are you a leader that is ready to start the conversation? Download MHFA England’s Workplace Wellbeing toolkit