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March 2020
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World mental health day 2019


By: Claire Moore Date: 10 October 2019
Category: Article,HR

Over the last few years’ employers have placed increasing value on nurturing the wellbeing of their employees. Whilst providing healthy snacks and step challenges are brilliant, it is just as important to remember that employee wellbeing goes a lot further than physical health. Work-related stress and mental illness now account for over half of work absences.

We take a look at the steps you can take to help promote good mental health within your workplace.

Reduce the stigma
Despite 1 in 4 individuals in the UK being affected by poor mental health every year, many people still find it a difficult subject to talk about. This can create a major barrier to many people receiving the treatment they need.

World Mental Health Day is a great time to start the conversation around mental health, letting your staff know ‘its ok to not always be ok’. There are a whole host of resources on the Time to Change website which you can use to start the conversation within your workplace.

Confirm your commitment
A documented policy can provide clarity for employees on the steps they should follow if they find themselves struggling at any point. It also confirms your commitment to employee’s mental wellbeing by letting them know what you will do to help.

Encourage your employees to be honest when reporting absences, let them know it’s ok to have time off due to poor mental health. The sooner you are aware of the issues your employee is facing the sooner you can support them.

Mental Health First Aiders
Many organisations are taking action by training Mental Health First Aiders within their workplace. Mental Health First Aid England recently reported that in 2018/19 a staggering 140,000 people had undertaken their training. Volunteers will typically complete a two-day training session, they are first responder ‘listeners’ who can signpost services, not counsellors or experts.

Job design and workload
One common cause of workplace stress is excessive workload; staff can become overloaded if they cannot cope with the amount or type of work they are asked to do. Managers should look to ensure that staff workload is manageable. It is inevitable that there will be times when workload is increased, however if this period becomes prolonged then job design/resourcing levels should be reviewed.

If you would like some support with designing your own mental health policy, please do contact us.
 
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