Raising awareness and creating a positive attitude surrounding mental health in the workplace has been proven to bring benefits and return on investment to many businesses. With at least a quarter of the country’s population facing a mental health issue every year, raising awareness in the workplace is more important than ever.
But how do you start to build awareness and acceptance around a topic that has long been restricted and disapproved of in the workplace?
1. Look out for signs and symptoms.
Mental health issues can cause a person to exhibit a wide range of signs and symptoms that you might be able to notice from spending time with the individual. Symptoms such as social withdrawal or low levels of engagement could indicate the employee is suffering from a mental health problem.
For more information read our short guide to mental health.
2. Encourage employees to check in with their own mental health.
Making an effort to encourage employees to check in with their own mental health is a great way to raise awareness of mental health in the workplace. As well as drawing employees’ attention to their own mental wellbeing, you can use this method to gauge the satisfaction of your employees and identify improvements that can be made.
3. Encourage contact between employees and their loved ones.
Encouraging your employees to use their support systems such as family and friends, can alleviate stress and improve morale as well as show your employees you are making an effort to create mental health awareness in the workplace. When struggling with a mental health issue, the support system around you can become extremely important and useful in combating some of the signs and symptoms they may be experiencing.
4. Promote breaks, sleep, rest and relaxation.
We all know just how damage a lack of sleep can do not only to our physical health but our mental health too. A lack of sleep can be linked to health issues such as obesity, type 2 diabetes, and depression. Mental health issues can cause poor sleeping habits, which in turn can create further mental and physical health problems. Encouraging enough sleep as well as relaxation in the form of hobbies and interests can improve focus, productivity, and overall morale in the office.
5. Take part in a Mental Health Awareness training course.
Mental Health Awareness training can help employees further their understanding of mental health issues in the workplace and how those issues can affect the individual. Taking part in a mental health awareness course can help you to become more aware of the signs, symptoms and consequences of mental health problems, and guide you on how to help fellow colleagues who may be struggling with their mental health.
6. Understand the resources available for those struggling.
Exploring and understanding the resources available for those struggling with mental health can prove useful everywhere including the workplace.
Employees struggling with mental health issues may need to use resources such as helplines and organisations when facing a mental health issue or emergency situation. Making access to these resources can promote mental health awareness as well as provide help to those who might be struggling.
These resources might include NHS Urgent Mental Health helplines, counselling or therapy, organisations, apps and tools.
Creating mental health awareness in the workplace can be as simple as promoting regular sleep, educating employees about resources available, or taking part in a mental health awareness training course.
Raising awareness about mental health issues in the workplace can lead to higher employee morale, higher levels of productivity as employees are energised and motivated. This, in turn, can lead to fewer sick days used for mental health problems and a positive return on investment for your business.
Level 2 Understanding Mental Health in the Workplace
This mental health awareness course has been specifically designed for those who would like to further their understanding of mental health conditions in the workplace and find out how best to offer support and guidance to colleagues.