‘Make Mental Health for all a global priority’
The World Health Organisation (The WHO) recognise World Mental Health Day every year on the 10th October. The first World Mental Health day was back in 1992.
World Mental Health Day is a chance for people to talk and discuss mental health issues, to help and support each other and to show how people can get help if they need it. It is an opportunity for those with mental health conditions, employers, governments, employees and any other stakeholders to be able to get together and know how they can help Mental Health and Well-Being to be a global priority for all.
The symbol for Mental Health Awareness is a green ribbon.
The ethos behind World Mental Health Day is to raise awareness of mental health issues, increase education on the topic and attempt to eliminate the stigma attached to mental health issues. Hoping that in turn it will encourage men and women to be brave, reach out and seek the help and support that they urgently need before the situation manifests itself deeper and deeper.
Slowly over the last few years things regarding mental health have started to change. The stigmas around anxiety and depression have improved to what they were and the NHS implemented a long-term plan committed to creating a community model of mental health.
According to current statistics, 1 in 4 people will experience some kind of mental health issue in their lifetime, and also see family or friends affected as a result.
Following on from the Coronavirus Pandemic and with the ever-rising cost of living that we are all facing today, more people are experiencing poor mental health issues.
Mental health covers a wide spectrum of issues from depression or anxiety to more serious conditions such as schizophrenia. Many sufferers will suffer in silence, fearful of the stigma associated with mental health!
Tips for looking after your mental health
Looking after your mental health is as important as looking after your physical health. Some tips to assist with balancing mental health include:
- Spending time away from stresses – go for a walk, to a local park or nature reserve or somewhere with natural surroundings as this is proven to reduce stresses and anxiety and improve individual mood.
- Try meditation to calm and restore your mind.
- Focus on breathing techniques.
- Exercise at least three times per week.
- Detox from the digital world, phones and social media causes anxiety and pressure to rise, having time away from technology helps to calm our minds and destress.
- Talk to someone – it is ok not to be ok. By talking to someone you trust such as a family member or friend it can help to calm yourself, they often say a problem shared is a problem halved.
What employers can do to help?
It is important that employers train leaders to recognise the signs of mental health issues and to encourage a culture of openness and offer support where needed.
Understanding your employees and getting to the root causes of absenteeism is a good place to start and can make a big difference to the outcome for both the business and the employee.
Employers have a duty of care to look after their employees’ mental wellbeing, this can be done by:
- Providing up to date information on mental health to inspire employees to improve their mental wellbeing. Leave copies in break/rests areas or on employees notice boards to encourage individuals to realise that they work for a company where the stigma of mental health simply doesn’t exist.
- Use events and initiatives such as Mental Health Awareness Week to communicate positive messages about mental health.
- Be open and upfront with employees, take the time to reach out to anyone you think might be suffering in silence.
- Provide an employee assist programme where employees can get help and support and access to counselling services if needed.
- Having open communication about mental health is essential, some employees would rather be perceived as being lazy or unreliable than their employer knowing they have a mental health problem, so managers must reassure employees there are no stigmas around mental health and the Company are there to support.
How to improve mental health in the workplace
- Talk about stress and mental health to get rid of any stigmas. Engage with stressed employees before they reach the stage where they need to take long term absence.
- If employees are off sick, ensure a return to work is completed and followed up with a return to work interview to identify any issues or patterns with absence.
- Ask employees if they need support and let them know that help and support are available if they need it.
- Remind employees of what support is available via Company benefits packageor within Occupational Health or an EAP.
- If a mental health issue has been identified, consider if flexible working arrangements or any adjustments would help. Maybe allow the employee to work from home at times, or start work later if needed
Ways to celebrate Mental Health Day
- Communicate the recognised day to employees.
- Promote awareness.
- Hold a coffee morning and encourage employees to talk to each other.
- Promote employee benefits or EAP schemes that can help with Mental Health.
- Hold a raffle.
- Encourage employees to wear a green ribbon or something green for the day.
If you have any further questions on employee well-being, please don’t hesitate to contact us on 0330 175 6601 or email us at email@example.com