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Save the link to this article as there is lots of insight about Employer's Mental Health Initiatives covered herein.

Mental health is as important as physical health to employees. Employees believe employers have a role in supporting their mental health. While feelings lean positive about their employers’ commitment to employees’ mental health — and the culture surrounding mental health in the workplace — employees are not resounding in their opinions. This suggests that employers can do more. Not questioning a decision may be because an employee is scared of speaking out. Larger employers can and should increase transparency and accountability through internal and external reporting, to include a leadership commitment and outline of the organisation’s approach to mental health. Around 15% of those in work in England have symptoms of a mental health problem. Individuals with long-term mental health conditions are still far less likely to be in work than those without any health conditions, or those with a physical health condition. Those with psychotic conditions are less likely to be in work than with common conditions such as anxiety or depression. As well as having a huge impact on individual employees, poor mental health has severe repercussions for employers – including increased staff turnover, sickness absence due to debilitating depression, burnout and exhaustion, decreased motivation and lost productivity. Recognising when someone may be unwell and offering support and assistance can help employees to manage work demands. Early intervention may prevent the employee from becoming ill, taking long-term sick leave or from needing to submit a workers’ compensation claim. Early intervention also benefits the team as it helps to maintain optimum team cohesion and functioning.

Work environments can promote a culture within the organisation that supports flexible working and addresses employees' concerns. Managers should respond to and seek to accommodate appropriate requests from employees for flexible working and should ensure consistency and fairness in processing applications. Managers' ability to manage teams with flexible working patterns may need to be developed. Organisations can make use of Occupational Health services like the government’s Fit To Work service and professional third parties and charities to address health problems and make any necessary adjustments in the workplace. Modern executives have leaned into workplace culture trends as a means of addressing rising stress levels, dwindling work-life balance and cries for more reasonable schedules. They’ve adopted open floor plans, dog-friendly policies and healthy snack cabinets. They’ve encouraged team outings and hosted mindfulness events. Potential workplace triggers for distress include people working long hours and not taking breaks and unrealistic expectations or deadlines. Organisations can make sure their employee benefits package provides support for managing employees with mental health issues today.

Perception Of Colleagues

Stereotypes, experiences, and belief systems drive the perceptions people hold about mental health and mental illness and influence the fears they may have about discussing those things. Mental health help should be made available to workers in times of need, but employers are also better served by a healthy, productive workforce, rather than one characterised by anxiety, stress and low levels of staff wellbeing. Staff will only be reluctant to report symptoms if they feel this will incur a negative response. There must be open communication in your organization. The employee has to be in a position to trust their employer will stand by them. Not only will this be an essential part of the recovery process, it will send out positive signals about the company values. Mental health problems can affect anyone in any industry and yet mental health is often still a taboo subject. If you think your employer or a prospective employer has failed to make a reasonable adjustment becasue of mental health issues, you should ask for an explanation and involve your union or staff representative, if you have one, and consider complaining to your employer. If you cannot resolve the situation, you can lodge a claim for unlawful discrimination under the Act with the Employment Tribunal. Similarly to any change that happens within organizations, discussions around workplace wellbeing ideas need planning and implementing properly.

You’ve know how mental health is intimately connected with physical health and diversity. This means promoting mental health is inseparable from other efforts to create a good work environment. The world of work is changing. In that change and pressure to become leaner, there are hazards for mental health and wellbeing, and a risk that some people can be left behind. Be sure to continually check in on your employees, and ask how they are. To be more effective, ask them twice. Research from Time to Change shows that 75% of people will say they’re okay, even if they’re not. By simply asking twice, you may uncover an issue that you might previously not have found. Become an advocate for mental health at work. Before you begin, you might want to review the policies and practices currently in place to support mental well-being, so you can see the resources that feel most relevant. And your HR leaders may be open to new ideas—like starting an employee resource group, setting up regular mindfulness sessions, or actively suggesting pre-meeting relaxation time and regular out-of-office walks. Some questions that employers can ask about their mental health approach include: Does your organisation prioritise learning and development among its staff? Does your organisation run an annual staff satisfaction survey? And if so, does it ask about mental wellbeing in the workplace? Even though it may not be easy to become an employee-centric company addressing workplace wellbeing support it is of utmost importance in this day and age.

Be Vulnerable

Mental heath training is important because it can help leaders better understand the links between job stress and health. They can also learn what they can do to support and prevent mental health issues in the workplace. Training should also focus on diversity and inclusivity. By including these topics, leaders will be better equipped to meet their employees ‘where they are.’ It will also help them to respond appropriately. Improved levels of wellness and mental health are associated with better work performance, but they can also help improve the level of staff retention, encourage greater levels of creativity and innovation, and enhance the reputation of a company. The psychological capital of your organization is an invaluable resource which should be recognized and cared for throughout the year. When having mental health conversations with team members at work, don’t assume mental illness or stress means they can’t do their job. Many organizations and jobs today are highly matrixed, requiring collaboration across several teams to get work done. This fast and creative work involves troubleshooting, problem-solving and thinking about how everything works together. Social time builds a foundation of trust that your organization needs for agility. Because of the stigma attached to mental health, your employees might not feel comfortable talking to you about it. Look around right now. You might be able to understand better if someone hasn’t been performing well or if they look really ill. Be compassionate and ask them if they’re doing well. A simple “How Are You” might create a greater impact on them than you know. Don't forget to send out proper internal communications around employers duty of care mental health in your organisation.

The rise of remote or flexible work has rendered traditional wellness assessments that rely on in-person screenings obsolete. Managers should consider flexible, digital self-assessment tools modeled after user-friendly consumer apps. Completing a mental health check-in should be as easy as checking a social media feed. Having a conversation about mental health at work need not be difficult or embarrassing and doing something about a problem doesn’t need to be time consuming or expensive. In fact, getting the issues out into the open and agreeing a way forward is the most effective action. There is a common belief that if team members are at work, then they must be coping. A similar belief goes that if you are ill, you cannot be at work. As you may know this is not necessarily the case. When employees are struggling with stress, or any other mental health issue, they will usually come to work – at least to start with. Employers have a compelling interest for promoting positive mental health in the workplace, because adults spend most of their waking hours at work. By shifting the perception of mental health at work, and by making tackling it a clear business imperative, we can support the well-being of our employees and create a healthy culture where every person feels seen, safe and supported. Communication that emphasizes that leadership cares about concepts such as how to manage an employee with anxiety should be welcomed in the working environment.

Management Capacity

You’re only human and you can only do so much. So, it’s important to identify when you’ve got too much on your plate and you begin to feel stressed. Your line manager is there to ensure your workload is manageable, so be sure to discuss it with them if it gets too much. Remember to delegate to your team, too. What tasks are there on your to-do list that someone else could easily take on? When you feel good mentally and emotionally, you approach your job with good mental health. You’re adaptable, flexible, and resilient. You are able to handle challenges. Your contributions to your team are meaningful, and you thrive in your personal and professional life. Nine out of 10 employers have expanded mental health benefits in the last year, but upward of three-quarters of the workforce believes their mental health is not well supported. Telehealth and digital solutions are on the rise, but out of more than 20,000 mental health apps in the marketplace, only 6 percent of app companies that claim to have an evidence-based framework have actually published said evidence. You can find further details regarding Employer's Mental Health Initiatives on this World Health Organisation article.

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