22 Mar 2022 - 16:36:37
20 Posts
The number of individuals on social media, particularly Facebook and Vimeo, speaking about Mental Health In The Workplace Schemes continues to grow monthly. I want to know your thoughts on Mental Health In The Workplace Schemes?

Important aspects of mental health and wellbeing includes providing information and raising awareness, management skills to deal with issues around mental health and stress effectively, providing a supportive work environment, offering assistance, advice and support to anyone experiencing a mental health problem or returning to work after a period of absence due to mental health problems. We know that it can be great going into work, and it can be hell going into work. Work is generally good for people’s mental health. It builds people’s self-esteem, establishes social networks and brings in an income. But work can also of course place people under enormous stress – especially at a time of recession when lots of employers are looking to cut costs and workforce. Supporting employees through a period of mental ill health may be difficult on a personal and professional level. It is important to look after your own mental health and wellbeing too. Some employees are responsible for caring for people with mental ill health. Managers need to recognise that these carers require supportive workplaces and flexibility in order to successfully manage both their caring and work roles. A study done by the World Economic Forum, covering 25 firms with 2 million employees in 125 countries around the world, also shows that firms that champion workplace wellness are reaping significant benefits measured in terms of increased productivity, reduced cost of employee healthcare, and increased employee engagement that lead to reduced turnover. Managing and supporting mental health at work is important. In fact, only 14% of employees say they get mental health support. Posting videos from company leaders sharing mental health tips or sponsoring activities related to emotional wellness in the workplace can dramatically change the conversation simply by starting it. Most mental health issues are left untreated because employees don't recognize the signs and symptoms. They may pass off their issues as "stress" or they may try to convince themselves their problems will go away on their own.

It is important to consult with employees and managers to identify strengths and weaknesses in your organizations approach to mental health Our end goal is to build an inclusive workplace where everyone feels safe and valued. This means we have to rid ourselves of the stigma attached to mental health and draw attention to its impact on overall health. With ever increasing pressures at work and home, there are times when we all need some extra support to balance the demands of everyday life. Most people who experience an episode of distress or mental ill health recover completely and can resume work successfully. Effective planning by the individual and the line manager will increase the likelihood of this happening, as will supporting and monitoring the individual during the early stages of their return. Discussing ideas such as employers duty of care mental health is good for the staff and the organisation as a whole.

Take Stock

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that mental illnesses affect employees in several ways. Of course, they can negatively alter job performance and productivity, but mental illness also affects an employee’s communication with coworkers and their physical capability to function daily. We need to recognise that many people are working in rapidly changing, sometimes hostile environments where the risk of psychological injury is high. We need to recognise that the riskiest jobs for mental health - those with the most demands and the least control, the least reward per effort, and where the organisational justice is negligible are those often occupied by people with the highest risk of mental health problems. 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. Those organisations that are starting to see mental health as a priority recognise that it is important for recruiting and retaining the talent of the future, and that good mental health and wellbeing is linked to strong performance. Mental health and behavioural disorders are common. At any point, up to 18 per cent of the working age population has a mental health problem. More pressing, the prevalence of mental health problems among sickness benefit claimants is increasing with over 40 per cent of sickness claims recording a mental or behavioural disorder as a primary condition. Subjects such as how to manage an employee with anxiety can be tackled by getting the appropriate support in place.

Internationally, the impact of mental health awareness-raising initiatives in the workplace is already proving overwhelmingly positive. A 2017 Deloitte study evidenced approaches across Germany, Canada, Australia, France, Belgium and Sweden which are empowering employers to implement interventions. Employers can do more to engage leadership in dialogue with employees about mental health. It’s important to understand how mental wellness in the workplace affects employees — and how companies can take care of their people. Addressing mental health problems at a large scale calls for a certain amount of sensitivity and nuance. Everyone must be made aware of the availability of resources, and employees should be actively encouraged to take breaks if and when they need them. Most importantly, the language used should work towards destigmatizing mental health issues, and should avoid using terms that may be exclusionary, or act as triggers. Larger employers can and should improve the disclosure process to encourage openness during recruitment and throughout, ensuring employees are aware of why the information is needed and make sure the right support is in place to facilitate a good employer response following disclosure. Organisations can make sure their employee benefits package provides support for workplace wellbeing support today.

Let’s Redefine Mental Health In The Workplace

A lot of remote workers feel like they constantly need to be “visible” in their digital workspaces to “prove” that they are working. They feel they need to be present for every discussion in chat, or can’t let a notification go unanswered for more than a few minutes. This pressure adds unnecessary anxiety. Instead of being able to do their work, they are constantly worryying about how their contributions are perceived. Such is the extent of mental health problems and struggles among the population that some in government, healthcare, and the media have begun to talk about it in terms of a ‘crisis’. Indeed, there are signs that the government is beginning to look at mental health in the same way as other public health issues; in 2018 the Chancellor’s budget included a £2bn increase in funding for mental health services. Employers should treat mental ill health in a matter-of-fact way – it is common and should not be a source of office gossip or conjecture. Some proactive steps employers can take to understand and assess their employees’ mental health include making mental health training mandatory for the company’s leaders to help them be more aware of and invested in this aspect of their employees’ well-being. We have a wide range of legal rights that protect our mental health at work. These range from basic human rights such as the right to freedom of expression and freedom of association, to the health and safety legislation that keeps us safe from hazards, including psychological hazards. Even though it may not be easy to become an employee-centric company addressing workplace wellbeing ideas it is of utmost importance in this day and age.

It is important to ensure employees are given the opportunity to disclose any health condition that could potentially affect their performance. Line managers should make it clear that any disclosure of a mental health condition will be dealt with in a supportive manner and not prompt disciplinary action. The 2017 Mental Health at Work survey found that 15% of employees had faced dismissal, disciplinary action or demotion after disclosing a mental health condition. It’s important to note that someone experiences a mental illness, not that they’re suffering from a mental illness. You, hopefully, wouldn’t say that someone is suffering from diabetes, but rather, that they have diabetes. To say that someone is suffering from mental illness stigmatizes it further and makes it seem as though it’s the entirety of who they are, which is not the case. Despite the challenges, people in every industry have the right to discuss mental health at work. Your industry may be very progressive and forward thinking; or it may be traditional and immovable. When we focus on using a balanced overview of language in relation to the different states of mental health, it can improve our wider understanding of this complex topic and gently release the outdated views of the stigma, which, for many years, have prevented open discussion on this subject in workplaces. Everyone is responsible for keeping a good work-life balance. That includes employers. Don't forget to send out proper internal communications around managing employees with mental health issues in your organisation.

Tailored Strategies

The words we say have meaning. The impact of our words can create a perception in another person’s mind that has the potential to form a belief and stay with them for a long time — even their entire lives. For centuries, people have largely perceived mental health as mental illness, and it’s still mostly discussed when someone is experiencing a decline in their well-being. Actively encouraging your employees to take their full lunch break, finish on time and avoid checking their emails outside of their working hours will help build a balanced, people-first culture in which your team thrive. An important time in managing and supporting someone with a mental health problem is when they are off sick for periods of two weeks or longer. During this time it is important that the line manager agrees with the employee how often and how they communicate, for example by telephone, email or home visit. It is useful to set out the importance of this contact in the absence management policy so managers and employees are clear about the need to maintain contact. You can discover supplementary info on the topic of Mental Health In The Workplace Schemes on this Health and Safety Executive link.

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