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The subject of Workplace Mental Health Initiatives can be puzzling. Lets strive to make it easier to understand.The pace of work and life is very fast. When pressure is felt as growth not stress, then the outcomes are good- improved job satisfaction, contribution, engagement, creativity, and innovation. When pressure gets too much, outcomes are not so positive – for the employee, their family or other team members. 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. Organisations should create an awareness and understanding of mental wellbeing and reduce the potential for discrimination and stigma related to mental health problems. Employee wellness programmes are a solution for employers looking to give their staff the opportunity to improve both their physical and mental health. With mental health at the forefront of discussions around employee wellbeing, it's important that mental health is at the top of your agenda. There is real misunderstanding with mental health. If you have someone with an addiction problem with drink for example, they can’t just put a drink down. It’s an illness. We don’t have the people in positions of power, from the government level and in certain businesses, who share the right understanding of mental health and mental illness. It’s important to recognize that professionals who work in leadership positions have a legal duty of care to support their staff. In the U.K., the Equality Act 2010 legally protects professionals from discrimination at work and in wider society, ensuring fair and equal treatment. Other countries have similar laws in place. Even with the most robust preventative plans, it is likely some people will still experience mental health problems, for a range of factors, so it is also essential for every business to know how to provide support. This might include knowing how to spot the early warning signs, being confident to signpost colleagues to appropriate support, how to make adjustments to someone’s work or role, and ensuring there is a process to help people return to work smoothly after a sickness absence. What policies and practices are already in place that have a direct bearing on mental health? A key component of these should be a policy on protecting employees from stress. A policy against stress is not a policy against hard work – most people thrive in temporary periods of pressure when a well-managed team is working together towards a well-understood objective. We’re all human and challenges in life or at work can reduce our wellbeing and our effectiveness. Just as the workplace can promote good mental health through meaningful work, work can harm mental health through poorly designed jobs and exposure to workplace hazards and risks Don't forget to send out proper internal communications around employers duty of care mental health in your organisation.Building ResilienceWe need to know more about the mental health impact of precarious employment, working multiple jobs, or the effect of compulsion into any employment arising from social security policy if we are to understand the role of work in both addressing and perpetuating mental health inequalities. When having mental health conversations with team members at work, get to know your team members’ baseline, so you can notice when something’s off. Ask team members to be patient and understanding with one another as they adapt to a new mental health policy. Trust them and assume the best. They are relying on you and will remember how you treated them during this unprecedented time. 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. Mental illness, also called mental health disorders, refers to a wide range of mental health conditions — disorders that affect your mood, thinking and behavior. Many people have mental health concerns from time to time. But a mental health concern becomes a mental illness when ongoing signs and symptoms cause frequent stress and affect your ability to function. Similarly to any change that happens within organizations, discussions around workplace wellbeing ideas need planning and implementing properly.Businesses all over the world are thinking about how they can most effectively support the mental health of their staff. But despite growing interest and investment in workplace mental health initiatives in recent years, there is still so much we don't know about what works and what doesn’t. Depression and comorbid conditions are also associated with workplace safety. One study of chronic illnesses and their impact on workplace productivity and workplace accidents found that the leading cause of lost work hours, measured through absenteeism and presenteeism, was depression. In order to sustain a culture of openness and transparency around mental health and wellbeing, employees should listen to and support team members with mental health and wellbeing concerns at both peer level and as line managers. Employees can support improvements in overall workplace mental wellbeing by ensuring they are aware of both how to raise concerns about colleagues and also what actions to support co-workers they can reasonably take. Whether an employee is experiencing marital issues or insomnia, EAPs can help employees deal with the issues that detract from their performance. But they need reassurance that it's free of charge and completely confidential. Even though the law protects employees, HR staff have a duty to make this explicitly clear so that potential employees don't hide a mental health problem through fear of discrimination. At the beginning of the recruitment stage, HR should say that adjustments will be made for disabled applicants, which includes any individual with mental health problems. These adjustments should also stretch to the ability to meet work schedules, something that will vary for candidates with mental ill health. An opinion on workplace wellbeing support is undoubtebly to be had in every workplace in the country.Positive Work RelationshipsIf people feel under too much stress at work and for too long, mental and physical illness may develop. Stress can affect people mentally in the form of anxiety and depression, and physically in the form of heart disease, back pain and alcohol and drug dependency. Many workers are sceptical about raising mental health issues with their manager, particularly in a time when they are under severe pressure. Digital tools and products are an enabler of change and give businesses the opportunity for low cost, scalable interventions in the workplace. It’s not always easy to discuss mental health and wellness — especially in a work setting. But sometimes, talking with your co-workers can really help them (and you) feel a little less overwhelmed, a little less stressed, and a lot more supported. Feelings of anxiety at work can cause us to experience physical and mental symptoms like nausea and a fluttering feeling in your stomach, a thumping heartbeat, hot flushes, grinding your teeth, having a sense of dread, worrying that gets out of proportion about your future or your anxiety or how people might see you, or dissociation. Mental health problems at work are common. At least one in six workers is experiencing common mental health problems, including anxiety and depression. You might not be talking about it, because mental health is still a taboo subject. And many people feel scared and confused about confronting the issue at work. Subjects such as Wellbeing for HR can be tackled by getting the appropriate support in place.Although there has been notable progress in organizations opening up the conversation around mental health and investing in well-being initiatives, the data still show a disparity when it comes to wider mental health support in workplaces. When cancers are caused by people’s work, they are called occupational cancers. Occupational cancers can be caused by many things, and affect many workers, but despite this they have often been overlooked. As a result, occupational cancer is sometimes referred to as a ‘forgotten epidemic’. Improving the physical environment at work and publicising available support pathways, such as Employee Assistance Programmes (EAPs) or occupational health (OH) can help tackle the causes of mental health problems. By the time they reach 30, 95 percent of workers in the UK will have been touched by mental health challenges — either their own, or those of a friend, family member, or co–worker. Three out of four will have personally experienced such a challenge. These individuals are also almost twice as likely as their more senior peers to be experiencing issues with their mental health right now. Taking time for yourself is a selfless act that enables you to feel at your best — not only for yourself but for others around you. Taking breaks of varied lengths, whether micro-breaks or longer periods of time, helps boost productivity and happiness, which, in turn, creates a positive ripple effect for your colleagues and loved ones. Thinking about concepts such as managing employees with mental health issues is really helpful in a workplace environment.Normalise Mental HealthSome proactive steps employers can take to understand and assess their employees’ mental health include training managers on what to do if they see signs of emotional distress or substance abuse. If people with poor mental health who are in work are not supported at work it can cost employers a huge amount of money. This is because the person may need time off work to deal with their illness if they do not get the support they need. This costs employers between £33 billion and £42 billion each year. Sometimes people find it easier to speak to people who are not their managers. Peer supporters would allow staff to support one another outside of the line management structure. This would allow someone the safe space to discuss any issues they are feeling about their mental health. You can check out extra information regarding Workplace Mental Health Initiatives at this Health and Safety Executive article.Related Articles:Questions Concerning Mental Health In The WorkplaceMental Health At Work Programs Mediations: Perturbed By What's Offered?The Leading 7 Upsides Of Mental Health In The Workplace Programs Mediations
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