Promoting Mental Health & Wellbeing at Work

Promoting Mental Health & Wellbeing at Work

Mental health and wellbeing are important aspects of our lives, especially in the workplace. At spacebands, we recognise how important mental health is, which is why spacebands are designed to protect workers not only from physical hazards, but we have built in a set of wellbeing features too.

In recent years, there has been a growing awareness of the need to promote mental health and wellbeing in the workplace. This is because mental health issues can have a significant impact on work performance and productivity.

In this blog post, we will discuss the importance of promoting mental health and wellbeing in the workplace and provide tips and strategies for doing so. We will also discuss the role that employers can play in promoting mental health and wellbeing in the workplace.

The impact of mental health on work performance

According to the Mental Health Foundation, 1 in 6.8 people experience mental health problems in the workplace (14.7%).

Women in full-time employment are nearly twice as likely to have a common mental health problem as full-time employed men (19.8% vs 10.9%).

Evidence suggests that 12.7% of all sickness absence days in the UK can be attributed to mental health conditions. Poor mental health accounts for more than half of all work-related illnesses, and around 51% of long-term sick leave is due to stress, depression, or anxiety.

Globally, an estimated 12 billion working days are lost every year to depression and anxiety at a cost of US$ 1 trillion per year in lost productivity.

Mental health issues can have a significant impact on work performance and productivity. According to a study by the Centre for Mental Health, poor mental health costs UK employers up to £45 billion each year. This is due to factors such as absenteeism, presenteeism (when employees are at work but not fully productive), and staff turnover. In addition, employees with poor mental health are more likely to make mistakes, have accidents, and take longer to complete tasks .

It’s clear that promoting mental health and wellbeing in the workplace is not only important for employees’ wellbeing but also for business success.

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Common mental health issues in the workplace

Some of the most common mental health issues that employees face in the workplace are stress, anxiety, and depression. These issues can have a significant impact on employees’ wellbeing and work performance.

According to a survey by Mind, 60% of employees say they have experienced a mental health problem due to work or work-related issues. The most common mental health issues that employees face in the workplace include:

  • Stress: Stress is a common issue in the workplace and can be caused by factors such as workload, deadlines, and interpersonal relationships with colleagues or managers. According to HSE, 17.9 million working days were lost due to stress, anxiety, and depression in 2019/20.
  • Anxiety: Anxiety is another common mental health issue in the workplace. It can be caused by factors such as workload, job security, and interpersonal relationships with colleagues or managers. According to Mind, 1 in 6 employees experience anxiety or depression symptoms at any given time.
  • Depression: Depression is a serious mental health issue that can have a significant impact on employees’ wellbeing and work performance. It can be caused by factors such as workload, job security, and interpersonal relationships with colleagues or managers.

It’s important for employers to recognise these issues and take steps to promote mental health and wellbeing in the workplace.

World Mental Health Day

World Mental Health Day is celebrated annually on October 10th to raise awareness about mental health issues around the world and to mobilise efforts in support of mental health.

The theme for 2023, set by the World Foundation of Mental Health, is “Mental health is a universal human right”. The theme emphasises the importance of mental health as a fundamental human right and aims to drive positive change for everyone’s mental health.

The day provides an opportunity for all stakeholders working on mental health issues to talk about their work and what more needs to be done to make mental health care a reality for people worldwide.

It’s also a chance to talk about mental health, how we need to look after it, and how important it is to get help if you are struggling.

World Mental Health Day – October 10th

Ways to promote mental health and wellbeing at work

Here are some tips and strategies for promoting mental health and wellbeing in the workplace to get you started:

  • Create a positive work environment: A positive work environment can help promote mental health and wellbeing. This can include things like creating a culture of support, encouraging open communication, and providing opportunities for social interaction.
  • Encourage work-life balance: Encouraging work-life balance can help employees manage stress and improve their mental health. This can include things like offering flexible work arrangements, encouraging employees to take breaks, and providing resources for managing stress.
  • Provide resources for employees: Providing resources for employees can help them manage their mental health and wellbeing. This can include things like employee assistance programs, access to mental health professionals, and training on stress management.
  • Promote physical activity: Physical activity has been shown to have a positive impact on mental health. Encouraging physical activity in the workplace can help employees manage stress and improve their overall wellbeing. This can include things like offering gym memberships, organising group fitness activities, or providing standing desks.
  • Encourage self-care: Encouraging self-care can help employees manage stress and improve their mental health. This can include things like encouraging employees to take breaks, providing resources for managing stress, and promoting healthy eating habits.

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  • Work Breaks - Work break reminders can be a great tool for improving productivity, reducing fatigue and burnout, improving posture and physical health, and promoting better mental health and creativity. Taking regular breaks at work can also reduce stress, anxiety, and depression - which can improve your overall quality of life.
  • Pedometer - A pedometer can motivate individuals to take more steps and engage in more physical activity throughout the day. Friendly competitions between teams can increase morale and build camaraderie in the workplace.
  • Stretching/Mobility - Using stretching and mobility prompts at work can have numerous benefits for employees, including reducing pain and stiffness, improving posture, increasing flexibility and range of motion, boosting energy and productivity, reducing stress, and promoting a positive workplace culture.
  • Well-Being Prompts - When employees are feeling their best, they are more likely to be productive and engaged at work, leading to greater efficiency and output. Well-being prompts can help reduce healthcare costs for both employees and employers.
  • Mood Tracker - By monitoring the mood of your staff, you can detect any problems early on. For example, if several employees report feeling stressed or overwhelmed, you can take steps to address the underlying causes of these issues before they escalate into more serious problems. Employers will also be able to see the impact certain well-being interventions may be having.

The importance of a mental health policy at work

A mental health policy is a set of guidelines and procedures that an organisation puts in place to promote mental health and wellbeing in the workplace.

According to Acas, employers have a ‘duty of care’ to do all they reasonably can to support their employees’ health, safety, and wellbeing. This includes making sure the working environment is safe, protecting staff from discrimination, and carrying out risk assessments.

Employers must treat mental and physical health as equally important and not discriminate against someone with a disability.

By having a mental health policy in place, employers can ensure that they are meeting their legal obligations and providing support for employees who may be experiencing mental health issues. A mental health policy can also help create a culture of support in the workplace.

According to the CIPD, promoting good mental health and providing support for employees who are experiencing mental ill health can reduce absenteeism and presenteeism, lower staff turnover, and increase productivity.

By providing resources for employees, such as employee assistance programs, access to mental health professionals, and training on stress management, employers can help employees manage stress and improve their overall wellbeing.

In addition, having a mental health policy in place can help employers recognise the signs of mental health issues and provide support to colleagues who may be struggling. By taking these steps, employers can create a positive work environment that promotes mental health and wellbeing for all employees.

What are some ways to create a culture of support at work

Employers can play a massive part in promoting mental health and wellbeing in the workplace. Here are some ways that employers can contribute to a culture of support:

  • Establish core values: Establishing core values that align with your company’s mission and goals can help create a sense of shared purpose and community among employees.
  • Encourage open communication: Encouraging open communication can help employees feel comfortable sharing their thoughts and ideas with one another. This can include things like holding regular team meetings, providing feedback, and creating opportunities for social interaction.
  • Recognise employee contributions: Recognising employee contributions can help employees feel valued and appreciated in the workplace. This can include things like offering incentives, providing opportunities for professional development, and celebrating milestones.
  • Provide resources for mental health: Providing resources for mental health can help employees manage stress and improve their overall wellbeing. This can include things like employee assistance programs, access to mental health professionals, and training on stress management.
  • Promote work-life balance: Promoting work-life balance can help employees manage stress and improve their mental health. This can include things like offering flexible work arrangements, encouraging employees to take breaks, and providing resources for managing stress.

Roughly 75% of employees have had an experience that impacted their mental health. Yet, 8 out of 10 workers with a mental health condition say shame, stigma and worries about retaliation or job loss prevent them from seeking mental health care.

In an effort to break the stigma, Everyday Health created Mental Health Stigma: It's Time to Start Listening and Stop Judging, which includes:

  • The types of mental health stigmas and their consequences
  • Information on how mental health discrimination affects personal lives, workplaces and schools
  • Expert tips on how professionals and employers can play a role in reducing mental health stigma

Conclusion

In conclusion, promoting mental health and wellbeing in the workplace is essential for both employees and employers.

Mental health issues can have a significant impact on work performance and productivity, and poor mental health costs businesses billions of dollars each year.

By creating a culture of support, promoting work-life balance, providing resources for employees, and offering flexible work arrangements, employers can help promote mental health and wellbeing in the workplace.

It’s important to recognise the signs of mental health issues and provide support to colleagues who may be struggling. By taking these steps, employers can create a positive work environment that promotes mental health and wellbeing for all employees.

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