How to promote mental health awareness to employees. As we approach Mental Health Awareness Week in May, it is important to consider how workplace conversations around mental health can contribute to the overall wellbeing of employees. With 1 in 4 people in the UK experiencing mental health issues, employers have a duty of care to address their employees’ needs appropriately in the workplace.
Mental health is a critical component of overall wellbeing, and it is essential for employers to prioritise the mental health of their workforce. By promoting mental health awareness and providing resources for employees, employers can improve the wellbeing of their workforce and create a more productive and engaged workplace.
Here are some of the key ways employers can improve the mental health of their workforce.
What can you do for mental health awareness?
One of the most important things employers can do to promote mental health in the workplace is to create a culture of openness and support. Encourage employees to talk about their mental health and provide resources to help them manage their mental health.
Mind UK recommends formalising these discussions to identify specific personalised support, gain commitment to any actions in order to promote wellbeing, or address any existing mental health needs. These Wellbeing Action Plans (WAPs) are a personalised, practical tool to help identify what keeps employees well at work, what causes them to become unwell, and how to address a mental health problem at work should the employee be experiencing one. Further details, and a template can be found here.
Further resources can include access to counselling services, mental health workshops, and support groups. Workshops on stress management, resilience, and self-care can help managers understand the impact of stress on their employees and offer effective strategies for managing stress and building resilience.
Flexible work arrangements, such as remote work or flexible hours, can also help employees manage their mental health by reducing stress and promoting work-life balance. By providing employees with the ability to work from home or adjust their schedules, they are able to better manage their work-life balance and reduce stress. This can lead to increased job satisfaction and productivity, while also supporting employee mental health.
What can your employees do for mental health awareness?
One way to support your employees is to encourage them to prioritise self-care. Encourage employees to prioritise self-care by providing resources and information on how to manage stress, get enough sleep, and maintain a healthy lifestyle. This can include offering wellness programs, providing healthy snacks, allowing an emergency paid mental health wellbeing day, and promoting physical activity.
Managers play a critical role in supporting the mental health of their employees. Providing training for managers on how to recognise signs of mental health issues and how to support employees who are struggling can help create a supportive workplace culture. For instance, mental health first aid training teaches managers how to identify early signs of mental health issues, such as depression, anxiety, or burnout, and how to offer appropriate support to employees who may be struggling.
Stigma surrounding mental health can have a significant impact on the well-being of employees in the workplace. Providing resources and information on mental health and how to manage it can be enough to create an open workplace culture around mental health.
Encouraging open conversations about mental health is another important way to reduce stigma. Employers can create a safe and supportive environment by encouraging employees to share their experiences and seek help when they need it. This can be achieved by setting up support groups or creating opportunities for employees to talk about mental health in the workplace.
Care for your employees
By prioritising the mental health of their workforce, employers can create a more productive and engaged workplace, reduce absenteeism and turnover, and improve overall employee wellbeing. Employers can not only support their employees’ overall health but also improve productivity and engagement. Mental health awareness should not just be limited to Mental Health Awareness Week but should be an ongoing priority for all businesses.
For more advice and help preparing for Mental Health Awareness week, get in touch today.