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If you have spent any time delving into Mental Health In The Workplace Initiatives in the last few days, you have presumably noticed how bewildering it can be.

You don’t need to be in crisis or have a diagnosed condition to share about mental health. You may have experienced a tough event, be going through a rough patch, and just need some support. Workplaces can distribute materials, such as brochures, fliers, and videos, to all employees about the signs and symptoms of poor mental health and opportunities for treatment. It’s not always easy to discuss mental health and wellness — especially in a work setting. But sometimes, talking with your co-workers can really help them (and you) feel a little less overwhelmed, a little less stressed, and a lot more supported. While identifying work-related risks and taking preventative measures should help minimise stress for most staff, it may still affect some team members due to issues inside or outside of the workplace. Managers should be prepared to help and support a team member experiencing stress. The economic downturn is impacting significantly on wellbeing and stress levels. Work pressures and job insecurity have dramatically increased, along with financial demands at home. Many people tell say they are struggling to cope. Businesses should ensure they have the support mechanisms in place to help anyone who is experiencing mental health, whether this is making adjustments to their workload, signposting them to your resources or even directing them to professional support.

Workplace stress is different to just having a lot on your plate. In fact, it can be extremely harmful if it isn't nipped in the bud early on. Whilst a certain amount of pressure at work motivates us and helps us to be productive, excessive amounts of pressure can become overwhelming and lead to stress. Supporting mental wellness is now more important than ever. A 2020 report by the American Psychological Association found that stress levels are at an all-time high, significant enough to be considered a national mental health crisis. Those companies that aren’t working to solve the problem are likely contributing to it. If you suspect a member of your team is experiencing poor mental health, or they disclose it to you, it’s essential you have a conversation with them about their needs. This will help you to evaluate and introduce appropriate support or adjustments. Often the greatest barriers faced by people who are known to have experienced mental ill health is being denied the opportunity to prove their effectiveness. Similarly to any change that happens within organizations, discussions around workplace wellbeing ideas need planning and implementing properly.

<h2>Enhance Work-related Protective Factors</h2>Sometimes there is a direct cause for a mental health problem, such as a life event, relationship issues, worries about finances or unemployment. A cause can also be problems within the workplace, like too high workload, a shortage of support or a conflict with colleagues or manager. Sometimes there is no clear reason. However, with support, most people recover. There’s been a rise in the number of reported mental health issues over the past 10 years, and it’s well recognised that in many cases the main risks to people’s health at work are psychological. This has led to a growing recognition of the need for employer wellbeing practices to address the psychosocial, as well as the physical, aspects of health and wellbeing. Anxiety is what people feel when they are worried, tense or afraid – particularly about things that are about to happen, or which they think could happen in the future. Occasional anxiety is a normal human experience. But if feelings of anxiety are very strong, or last for a long time, they can be overwhelming. Someone might also experience physical symptoms such as sleep problems and panic attacks. Some larger companies offer services like counselling to employees, free-of-charge. This is often run by an outside company that supplies face-to-face or telephone counselling sessions. All conversations or calls are confidential. Your employer can't ask the counselling company what you talk about or how often. Educate managers about the signs of mental health problems and train them to respond appropriately. A caring conversation between a supervisor and an employee could be instrumental in encouraging an individual to get help. Discussing ideas such as managing employees with mental health issues is good for the staff and the organisation as a whole.

Anyone can become upset and reveal to their workmates that they are human. But if you have a mental health problem you may have a particular need for a safe space to express your feelings. If you are going through a mental health crisis, whether or not it’s caused by work stress, it is likely to have an impact on you at work. People who are experiencing long-term difficulties with their mental health are considered to be disabled under the Equality Act 2010 and can ask their employer to make changes to help them do their job as well as someone without a disability. The adjustments have to be ‘reasonable’. What’s reasonable depends on the situation – like the size of the organisation you work for. If you look after your employees’ mental wellbeing, then levels of engagement will rise and so will staff morale and loyalty, innovation, productivity and profits. Ignoring the mental health of your staff comes at a high price. And will only make problems worse. Experts advise us to get up and walk away from the computer to relieve tension. Instead of sending an email or message, speak with a teammate in person. Working alone might exacerbate mental anxiety. Relationships boost our sensations of sociability and support. At any one time many employees will be thriving, but with frequent movement between thriving, struggling and those who are ill, and possibly off work. Thinking about concepts such as workplace wellbeing support is really helpful in a workplace environment.

<h2>Organizational Culture</h2>There is a broad range of issues that can have an impact on a person’s mental health. These can include: divorce and separation, the 24/7 “always on” culture and its effect on sleep, the need to juggle multiple responsibilities and roles in addition to work, financial pressures, and, for many, the despair of isolation and loneliness. Positively managing mental health underpins good employee engagement and benefits everyone – employees, employers and the bottom line. When you’re open about the importance of mental health, employees take fewer days off with mental health symptoms and, if they are unwell, they stay off work like they should. Managers who give frequent and meaningful feedback have employees who are more likely to be engaged compared with managers who don’t. The benefits of regular meaningful feedback for those who work remotely 80% to 100% of the time are even greater than for those who work on-site. The combination of autonomy and meaningful feedback is the magic formula that produces the greatest benefit. But poorly skilled managers fail to offer regular and useful feedback. Examples of peer-to-peer groups within businesses includes physical – such as grief counselling groups and special interest communities – and digital solutions. These can be beneficial in connecting those who want to better understand their emotions with people who have had shared experiences. Subjects such as employers duty of care mental health can be tackled by getting the appropriate support in place.

Mental wellbeing at work is determined by the interaction between the working environment, the nature of the work and the individual. When employees experience low self-esteem, they become more vulnerable to feelings of stress, rejection, and failure. Emotionally healthy individuals, however, know how to be gentle, kind, and loving with the way they view themselves. Teaching self-compassion and giving employees the tools to help their self-esteem recover can provide a big boost to their emotional health, which in turn makes them more productive employees. The twin goals of increasing employee engagement and creating a mentally healthy workplace are interdependent. Mental health conditions are a leading cause of sickness absence in the UK (ranked after minor illnesses and musculoskeletal problems). More than 17.5 million absence days were attributed to stress, anxiety and depression in 2018 (ONS, 2019). Unresolved mental health issues may cause absence, loss of productivity and high staff turnover, and it is employers who bear the associated costs once they hit the bottom line. Organisations that take meaningful action to promote employee wellbeing will, therefore, enjoy a competitive advantage over those that don’t, or that merely pay lip service to it. An opinion on how to manage an employee with anxiety is undoubtebly to be had in every workplace in the country.

<h2>Tailored Strategies</h2>Evidence suggests that early intervention and prevention can have overall health and financial benefits. Employing positive mental health strategies, for example, can decrease health care claims and reduce morbidity by alleviating symptoms of depression, anxiety and stress. Workers may come to work even though they are unwell because they are concerned that if they disclose a mental health problem, they will face prejudice. Reduced productivity costs UK businesses up to £15 billion a year. You’ve got great staff? Then you want to keep them. Not just because it’s nice to have familiar and trusted faces greeting you when you turn up to work, but also because it saves a shed load of money. Brain drain has some serious cost implications. You can discover further particulars about Mental Health In The Workplace Initiatives at this World Health Organisation article.

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