World Mental Health Day

October 2017
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Tuesday 10th October is World Mental Health Day, a day observed to help build awareness of mental health issues and to reduce the stigma surrounding mental health.

Mental Health is a large reality across the world and affects most workplaces and its employees. Mental health is complex with many conditions and symptoms but unfortunately it still retains a huge social stigma even though many of us will face it in some form during our lifetime.

As our lives become increasingly fast paced, with hectic work and home lives it is easy to get caught up and not spend enough time on looking after your wellbeing.

You may go to the gym or play football at the weekend, both are activities that support your physical wellbeing, but what do you do to exercise your mental wellbeing?

What about employers, do they do enough to support employees with their mental health? Does the working environment encourage an open dialogue around heath concerns?  

A key factor in having a healthy workplace is for the employer to have early intervention practices in place to protect their employees’ health and wellbeing.

It is likely that at any given time, someone in your team or business will either be vulnerable to developing symptoms or will actually be experiencing them and as an employer, you are in a unique position to promote positive mental health at work.

A good first step for employers is to ensure that your employee benefits offer additional support services for employees in difficult times, varying from prevention through to healthcare.

Simple additions such as Employee Assistance Programs, Legal Guidance Help Lines and Bereavement counselling can be invaluable to employees. It may also be worth investing in Private Medical Insurance that supports employees with face to face counselling therapies.

Secondly, to reduce the stigma associated with mental health problems, it is important to create a positive open culture in supporting employees and colleagues. 

Key tips:

  • Have a Conversation: If you’re concerned about an employee’s behaviour in the workplace then initiate a private, confidential and supportive discussion. Create a comfortable space for an honest conversation and respect their privacy following the conversation.
  • Adjust and Plan: Support them if they wish to continue working, it provides purpose and meaning, a sense of achievement. Adjust tasks to help them remain at work. Involve them in the plan.
  • Use Non-Judgemental Language and Stay Calm: Use supportive and positive language. Lower you voice, listen and remain calm.
  • Focus on Strengths: Some people will live with continued mental health problems, this is not a weakness but a truly admirable strength. Recognise your team members for what they contribute and the strengths they bring to their role at work.

Be Happy, Be Well. 

Todd Rowlands
Head of Risk and Reward Consulting

Please remember, no news or research item is a recommendation or advice to buy. LEBC Group Ltd is not responsible for accuracy and may not share the author’s views. If you are unsure of the suitability of any investment or product for your circumstances please contact an adviser. 

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