Tackling mental health issues in the workplace
On National Stress Awareness Day it is quite apparent that the issues of mental health in the workplace need to be tackled more than ever. A recent comprehensive report published by the UK government called Thriving at Work: a review of mental health and employers highlights in stark terms how employers need to do more to address the issues. It calculates that the annual cost to the UK economy of poor mental health amounts to around £99bn of which almost a half is borne by employers. It also highlights that employees who were forced to stop work due to having mental health problems was 50% higher than for those with physical health issues. It is important therefore for employers to have in place a clear strategy to manage mental health conditions given the personal impact on their employees and also the ‘bottom line’.
On a related note the following top 10 tips may be of interest which are from co-writing a book called ‘The Crisis Book’ which is aimed at improving the workplace and giving people who may be struggling some ideas and encouragement:
- Doing something is often better than doing nothing
- Anticipate and embrace change as your friend, not your enemy
- Look after yourself by moderating diet, exercise and sleep
- Build strong positive relationships at home and at work
- Identify your stress triggers and how best to manage them
- Appreciate that any life event has the potential for losses and gains
- Seek out control by giving yourself choices
- You might not be able to change the situation but you can change how you think, feel and behave
- Have a reality-check and resist the fears than may never happen
- Ask for help… you might just get what you need
It is important on national stress day that we all not just look after our own wellbeing at work but also see what we can do to support others who may need a supportive conversation or would appreciate an encouraging gesture.