Positive Mental Health in the Workplace
Posted on 10th April 2023 at 13:03
April is stress awareness month so it is a good time to review the mental health and stress levels of your staff. Businesses who address this will see signnifant improvements in staff performance. Over half the sick days taken by clients are said to be due to workplace stress.
One in four of us will experience mental ill health at some point in our lives. As employers, it is vital we understand what mental health is, how to promote positive mental health in the workplace and how to support an employee experiencing mental ill health.
The World Health Organisation define mental health as "... a state of well-being in which every individual realizes his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to her or his community." When we have positive mental health we can normally handle the ups and downs of everyday life, interact positively with others, feel confident about ourselves and engage productively with the world.
Mental ill health can affect our thoughts and feelings and change how we see the world. Symptoms range from feeling a bit down, thoughts or feelings that are difficult to deal with, through more common issues like anxiety, depression and low self-esteem, to more serious illness such as bipolar disorder or schizophrenia.
In many cases, people's mental health problems are only temporary. However, some people suffer severe and eduring mental ill health that requires long term treatment. Either way, it's important that employers understand mental health, what it is and what it is not, how to spot mental ill health and how to manage someone experiencing it. Burnout prevention is possible and knowing the signs of burnout is important so you can support employees who are navigating overload.
ACAS have recently published comprehensive and pratical guidance on mental health for employers, which can be found on their website (directs you to an external site).
If you would like to find out more on promoting positive mental health in the workplace, training managers and staff about mental health or making changes in the workplace to avoid causing mental ill health, please contact us and we will be happy to discuss it with you. For all your HR advice and support whether in Luton or anywhere in the UK, look no further than Plain Talking HR.
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