World Mental Health Day: tips on how to support your employees
World Mental Health Day: tips on how to support employees
According to the World Health Organisation, “globally, an estimated 12 billion working days are lost every year to depression and anxiety.” That’s the equivalent of each employee taking off nearly 4 days each a year for mental health related sickness.
Awareness of the importance of looking after employees’ mental health is higher than ever, but it’s important to ensure that you’re not just paying lip-service to the topic on #WorldMentalHealthDay. With the right wellbeing strategies, policies and support, you can help to ensure your workforce feels as supported as possible every day.
Tips for supporting mental health in the workplace
Establish boundaries between home and work time
With many organisations now taking on a hybrid working model, it can be difficult for employees to establish boundaries which can easily allow work to seep into their home life, resulting in burnout and affecting mental health. Employers should encourage their workforce to:
- Set and keep to a dedicated working routine
- Take regular breaks when needed
- Stay connected with other employees
Have regular one-to-ones between line managers and employees
The topic of mental health in the workplace remains a sensitive topic for many people, so it can be difficult for employees to be open with their managers. Encouraging regular communication can create a more open space for free discussion, being aware of any prevalent mental health problems is the first step to ensuring employees are provided the correct support.
Ensure the right support is in place
Mental health and wellbeing policies set out how employers can support employees’ mental health at work, including spotting early signs of mental ill health, training line managers, helping to prevent stress and creating positive working environments where individuals and organisations can thrive. Good health and wellbeing can be a core enabler of employee engagement and organisational performance.
Ensure everyone in the business is aware of the support available
It is important for managers to know when to act, but it is also important for employees to be aware of the help available to them. Signposting to mental health services, whether this is external or internal, can ensure that any issues that arise are dealt with quickly and confidentially to avoid any prolonged period of poor mental health for the employee. Employers should make line managers and supervisors aware of any support services in place to ensure they are equipped to provide mental health help.