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Paula Allen a global leader and senior vice president of research and total wellbeing at LifeWorks believes organisations should pay attention to employees' psychological wellbeing all year long, not just during awareness days.
Last month was World Mental Health Day, and many employers are likely to have been considering ways to provide support to their employees and prioritise their mental health. In addition to bringing attention to mental health, it is important to promote mental wellness every day.
To feel supported, employees must feel comfortable in the workplace and confident that there is no stigma associated with mental health and wellbeing challenges. People continue to experience stigma, contributing to anxiety and preventing them from seeking confidential support. Additionally, we know that our collective mental health has deteriorated. There is a significant increase in mental health risks among working Britons (39 per cent) when compared to 2019.
Also, we are more sensitive to stress, which manifests as anger, cynicism, and conflict. However, we still face the challenge of people delaying or avoiding support. Moreover, waiting until an issue is 'bad enough' means it will likely become more complicated and harder to address later on, as noted above. Additionally, any time spent waiting for a resolution means less quality of life.
Resource awareness is another concern. Several employees are unaware that their organisation offers confidential employee assistance programs (EAP) for mental health and work-life issues. In addition to providing support 24/7, EAPs are available 365 days a year. Moreover, it shows the company cares for its employees and is concerned about their welfare. In addition to manager training, EAPs also offer employee assistance programs, which help leaders support a healthy work environment.
Both skills are essential to the functioning of a team, and acquiring them through training relieves undue stress on managers who wish to help but lack the knowledge. As well as confidential personal mental health services, every workplace should be playing a part in the maintenance of good mental well-being. Psychological safety should be valued along with flexibility and a wider sense of belonging.
As mental health is an ongoing issue, and a critical one for ensuring productive and happy workplaces, all organisations should ensure that they are focusing on how they can help make their employees mental health and wellness a priority.‹ Back