Tips for Supporting Mental Health in the Workplace
Everyone struggles with mental health at different times, so it’s essential to keep this in mind. While many consider their physical health more important than their mental health, this isn’t the case. Consider your employees' mental health in the workplace, as this can significantly affect their wellbeing. In this guide, we’ll help you find a way to support your staff’s mental health in the workplace and how you can help them.
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You should leave yourself open to communication with your employees and colleagues, especially if they’re going through a tough time. Some of your employees may not feel they can reach out for help. You should show that this isn’t the case by allowing for an open-door policy or even checking in with them now and then. By talking to your employees and colleagues about any issues troubling them, you can provide a more open environment that enables them to feel safe and comfortable if they are struggling with their mental health.
Previously, we mentioned communication, but you could also check in with your employees in informal meetings. This way, you can talk to them in the privacy of your office. If they don’t feel like they can approach you on their own, this can be a way that you can have them come to you. In these meetings, you can discuss what difficulties they may be having with work and offer support if they are struggling with their work. By providing check-ins, your employees may feel more comfortable talking to you if other problems arise, as they will know that you’re already aware of them.
You may have some tight deadlines coming up at work, but it’s vital that you provide some flexibility to your employees. You should look at how many hours they’re doing and whether they need to do anything related to childcare. If they have stress at home, that could significantly affect how they’re feeling at work. Offer them the flexibility to help ease some of their stress and give them a chance to take a break. This ties into our point on communication, as this way, you become aware of any issues your colleagues face and how you can help support them.
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Mental Health Training
You could invest in mental health training to raise awareness and reduce the stigma of talking about mental health. Training can help everyone open up about the issue of mental health and lead to a more supportive environment. If you’re worried about expenses, then don’t worry. Try approaching a mental health resource group to see how you can raise awareness and help your workplace.
Is everyone sitting at their desks all day and prioritizing their work over their health? How many times do you see someone leave their desk? It’s important that you take into account whether they’re taking a break from the computer and going for a walk. You should also make sure that they stay hydrated and eat on their breaks. To help promote this, you should also make sure your employees see you modeling this behavior. It’s easy to tell your employees to take a break, but they won’t believe it’s okay if you don’t take breaks either.
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Mental Health Surveys
Sometimes, it can help to have anonymous surveys where your employees can be honest about how they think things can change. Not all employees will want to approach you directly with their concerns, but you should give them the opportunity. If you do mental health surveys, you can see what suggestions your employees can offer and how you can change how everyone approaches mental health. By looking at surveys, you can get an honest look at how your company is presented from your employees' perspectives.
What sort of practices does your company have? If these contradict how you want to help your employees’ mental health, you should take a closer look. Take flexibility in work hours as an example. Some of your staff may want to dial their hours back for either mental health or childcare. If your practices say that they can’t do this, you may want to change them so that they won’t feel it will negatively affect their performance. It’s essential that you are aware of your company’s practices and that if there are any changes, you communicate them honestly to your employees.
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Is your company all work and no play? Encourage your employees to talk to each other as well as you. By encouraging employee engagement, you may be able to counteract any feelings of loneliness in the workplace. Maybe you could encourage everyone to take lunch together, or around the holidays, you could arrange parties or a Secret Santa for your team? You should encourage your employees to engage with one another, so they don’t feel isolated. If there are any issues, they can talk to one another and gain support, and if they have problems with their mental health, they may be more likely to come forward.
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Mental health is often not as prioritized as physical health, but this doesn’t have to be. By encouraging mental health support in the workplace, you may find that this will lead to a more welcoming and productive environment for your employees. Hopefully, these tips should encourage you and your employees to support one another if they do need support. If they have any severe issues, you could even recommend support groups specializing in mental health issues if they feel they’re struggling. You might worry about not having the right resources, but by offering external support when your employees need it, you may end up helping them a great deal. The most important way you can help is by communicating with your employees, checking in with their needs, and listening to each other. Once you do this, your workplace will be a better place to work, and your employees will be more comfortable.
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