Mental health in the workplace is becoming a topic that is constantly increasing in importance. Employers are beginning to realize that employee mental health is just as important as their physical health, and that mental health problems are not often something that can be left at the door when somebody comes into work. Because of this, the need for mental health support and the conversation around mental health in the workplace is growing. More and more employers are looking for new ways to support employees and show that their mental health is something that is important to them. So, what can that look like in a workplace?
Mental Health Training
Just like employees will receive first aid training for physical health problems, it is important to ensure that the workforce has a solid understanding of mental health and how it can affect us at work. Mental health first aiders are becoming a more popular sight in many companies as employees volunteer to be the first point of contact for their colleagues to come and speak to if they are having a tough time. Overall, a company that is staffed by people who are experienced in mental health and understanding of the issues it can cause will typically mean that employees who are suffering feel more seen, understood, and comfortable to open up so that they can get the support that they need.
Mental Health Days
Mental health days are becoming increasingly widespread in workplaces, and for good reason. Just like most good employers would not begrudge an employee a sick day if they were feeling unwell, many are beginning to understand the importance of allowing employees to take time off for self-care when it comes to their mental health. Employees who are able to take the time that they need to recuperate and get back in control when they are experiencing poor mental health are more likely to return to the workplace refreshed and more productive.
It’s understandable that some people might not feel comfortable talking about their mental health to their boss, and it’s up to the employee to decide whether or not they will bring it up in conversation. Employers should not ask personal questions about an employee’s mental health unless they are asking about how they can make reasonable adjustments to make work easier for them. Since not all employees will be willing to talk about it, it can be a good idea to make sure that support options like helplines and contact details for local mental health services are readily available in the workplace for employees to use if they feel the need.
One of the best mental health tips for the workplace is allowing employees more autonomy. On average, employees who can make more decisions about how and where they work tend to enjoy better mental health. Offering the option for flexible hours, home-based working, or even choosing where in the office to work wherever possible can make all the difference to how employees feel throughout the working day.
Today, it’s more important than ever for employers to care about the mental health of their workforce. Keep these tips in mind if you want to turn your company into a more mental health-friendly place to work.