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How to Improve Mental Health in the Workplace

May 20, 2022 11:47:47 AM / by Victoria Whiteley

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May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and with everyone going through a rough few years, finding the right balance for your mental health within the workplace can be tricky.

For a lot of people being isolated during lockdowns was hard, but there will be many people who will still be struggling with a hybrid working solution, or a full return to work. Sometimes it can be hard to tell if someone is having a bad day mentally or if they have a lot on their plate.

How can you help a colleague who is struggling with their mental health at work?

Communication is Key

It was reported that only 24% of employees said their companies regularly engage with them on the subject of mental health, and only 1 in 10 employees will go to their employer with mental health related issues1. Mental health can be hard topic for a lot of people to talk about, so creating a safe space for people to communicate how they are feeling can be the key to helping someone who is struggling.

Creating a culture that supports staff to be open about their mental health struggles, can help employees to feel more confident when talking to their managers and co-workers about mental health. As well as this, having a mental health policy in place or treating mental health the same way as we treat physical health, can help to eliminate the taboos, and make people more open when discussing the topic2.

Some ways companies do this is by having a team of trained mental health first aiders, having meditation or reflective rooms, having team talks which aren’t work related, or by creating a wellbeing group.

Mental Health Days

Having mental health sick days aren’t a legal requirement by the government, because of this 70 million workdays are lost due to mental health in the UK, costing employers approximately £2.4 billion per year3.

Due to the amount of days being lost, some companies have started offering employees mental health days, or mental health weeks. These are like sick days but are designed to help employees to recuperate their mental health for them to feel refreshed and improve the quality of work they provide to the company.

An example of this took place last year when social media management company Hootsuite created an annual company-wide shut down wellbeing week, as well as providing staff half-days on Fridays throughout the summer months4. Improving mental health and ensuring their employees wellbeing is one of their top priorities, while also ensuring their customers are still receiving the same quality of service.

AdobeStock_171942353Collaboration

Good collaboration supports positive mental health, as sharing your workload can decrease stress, improve trust, and help team members to bond. Working as a team can not only allow you to share the amount of work everyone has, but can also result in you getting more work done and solve problems quicker and easier.

Collaborating can mean anything from trying to solve a collective problem by listening to everyone’s ideas, to hosting regular meetings to invoke critical and creative thinking or having meetings for casual updates which can feel therapeutic.

Creating that safe and collaborative environment can help to improve mental health across your team and improve the quality of work you are producing.


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Topics: Collaboration, Employee Wellbeing, Health

Victoria Whiteley

Written by Victoria Whiteley

Digital Marketing Executive at Banner