Mental health and support in the workplace
Mental health is an important topic that needs to be talked about more often within the work environment. According to the National Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing, nearly one in five Australians aged 16-85 experience mental illness in a given year, often suffering in silence and with little support from family, friends, or workplace colleagues. But all of that is changing as the workplace becomes more aware of the need to provide mental health care for employees and offer workplace mental health programs. Mental illness can affect anyone at any time. It's not a choice or something someone does on purpose; it's a medical condition that must be treated just like any other.
It's important first to understand what mental health is and how it may directly affect you or a coworker. Mental health conditions can range from anxiety and depression to more severe illnesses such as schizophrenia. The workplace can be a challenging environment for those who have a mental illness because of the extended periods of time they spend there. A positive workplace can support those struggling and make them feel comfortable to seek help. By talking about mental health at work, we can reduce stigma and give those who require support access to it.
Mental health at work
There are a number of workplace mental health issues that plague individuals, and it's important for concerned workplace leaders to identify and discuss the importance of mental health within the workplace.
For example, employees who suffer from a mental illness or decline in mental health may experience a variety of symptoms that hinder their ability to function at work. These symptoms can include:
Withdrawal from work or social activities
However, workplace leaders are responsible for creating a workplace culture that is welcoming of mental health issues. While workplace leaders cannot fix all workplace mental health issues, they can help create an environment that is accepting of these issues.
In order to create this type of workplace culture, workplace leaders can include mental health awareness in workplace training. Leaders can also make an effort to educate themselves on the warning signs for mental illness and encourage their employees to talk about mental health concerns with them if they are experiencing distress.
It's not enough for managers to create workplace policies that encourage mental wellness-they also play a vital role in creating workplace cultures that are supportive of employees who struggle with mental health concerns. By focusing on workplace mental health, managers can help their employees not only prevent workplace burnout and anxiety, but also feel more supported at work.
The importance of listening
It's important to respect an individual's privacy while still showing concern for their wellbeing and offering solutions to support them through difficult times.
Mental health can be a complex topic to address, however, there are steps that can be taken to create a culture where employees can feel safe to speak up about mental health issues. It's important for workplace leaders to show understanding and compassion when addressing these workplace mental health issues with their team members. If you're not sure on how to offer support, try one or more of these four steps: Listen, Listen more, Ask questions, Make a plan.
The workplace can be a stressful environment, especially if you find yourself under a lot of pressure from your peers and boss. It's not always easy to cope with such stress, and it may seem as though the only way out is to quit your job. However, mental health awareness suggests that there is another way: staying in the workplace and seeking support from those around you. It is also vital that senior leaders reach out and support people and address the mental health conditions of their employees.
A workplace can be full of judgement and criticism, which can lead to even more stress for those who are suffering from mental health issues. However, many people don't realize that they're not alone in their struggles, and there are many resources out there for those who need them. Mental health information and contacts for services such as the Black Dog Institute and Lifeline can be found here.
Mental health awareness doesn't only include mental illness and stopping workplace stigma. It can also refer to promoting wellness and workplace safety. If you want to support mental health awareness in the workplace, you should also take care of your own mental wellbeing and work-life balance.
If you know someone who is struggling with their mental health, reach out and offer them words of encouragement. You never know what sort of impact you could have on their life. Sometimes, people don't even realize how much support they need until someone else offers them the same thing.
Mental health workplace support
Some of the most common workplace mental health issues that affect employees in a workplace include anxiety, depression and addictions such as alcohol or drugs. Workplace stress can take a toll on one's mental health and exacerbate such issues. The workplace is often an environment where people who suffer from mental illnesses find that the stress and judgement at work can lead to more stress. However, the workplace can also be a place of support for those who are suffering from mental illnesses. By leaders supporting and listening to their employees, and taking mental health just as seriously as physical health, this environment can become a positive one.
Mental health is an important topic that we should all be talking about more often. The workplace can come with many challenges, and often workplace mental health awareness day activities overlook the toll workplace stress can take on your mental health. For workers to feel comfortable speaking up about these issues, there needs to be a supportive framework in place. Workers should be able to access sick leave for mental illness without judgement, just as they would for a physical ailment. Workplace leaders can also implement reasonable adjustments to create an environment where work-related stress is kept to a minimum and workers feel safe during their working hours. The first step to building a mentally healthy workplace is to listen to workers with compassion.
Changing workplace culture around mental health
Many companies are now realising that a mentally healthy workplace plays a vital role in good performance and worker wellbeing. To do their job to the best of their ability, workers must be supported in their work hours and be surrounded by a healthy workplace. Companies want to support career development, and each staff member who feels able to speak about their mental health condition in an open-minded environment will be more equipped to reach their goals. Addressing mental health issues in the workplace is a win for everybody.
People might think this is just another trend - but it's not; To be mentally healthy it's about taking care of your team members with peer support by providing them with mental health programs that help them get back on track when they're struggling.
It's about respecting an individual's privacy while still showing concern for their wellbeing and offering solutions to support them through difficult times. It's about being able to speak openly on the topic without fear of judgement. And most importantly, manage stress and anxiety and address difficulties concerning their own mental health. For further reading on creating a workplace that understands mental illness and is supportive of mental health, click here.
You can also access a range of information on workplace mental health from the Safe Work website.
You can also read other helpful articles and blogs from TRS here and learn how TRS support our candidates in the workplace here and register for more information on receiving updates to secure your future with a career with TRS Resourcing.