How To Provide Mental Health Support In The Workplace

by Business Case Studies on Wednesday 7th March, 2018

Creating a work environment that is friendly in terms of mental health is an important part of running a business. One of the best ways to do that is by talking openly about it. Once you remove the stigma associated with discussing mental health, all of the other details will naturally fall into place.

Provide Support Options That Are Available For Everyone

Having multiple support options available that anyone can take advantage of can be a good way to lay the groundwork for creating a mental-health-friendly work environment. One option is to have employees fill out a Wellness and Recovery Action Plan, more commonly referred to as a Wrap.

These documents allow individuals to identify triggers, to create a list of resources that they can use for dealing with issues, and to come up with daily tasks that they need to complete to support their mental health. Encouraging employees to fill out these forms is a great way to start the discussion about mental health and to let them know that you are supportive.

Be Willing To Make Adjustments As Needed

When dealing with disabilities, employers are required by the law to make “reasonable adjustments”. Because mental illness is categorized as a disability in the workplace, it means that employers need to accommodate the needs of employees dealing with mental health issues. It can be difficult to know what qualifies as a reasonable adjustment. Fortunately, however, most of the adjustments that you may need to make are simple to implement and don’t cost any money.

For instance, if you have an employee who suffers from anxiety, you may be able to allow them to come to work at a later time so that they don’t have to drive when traffic is at its worst. Likewise, if a certain employee works best in a quiet environment, you may need to set aside a section of your work area where they can escape the surrounding noise. These types of adjustments don’t just apply to people who are currently dealing with mental health issues — they can benefit everyone in your workplace. As a result, you can enjoy a healthier, happier workforce.

Make Sure To Leave Time For Employees To Relax Outside Of Work

No matter how busy things get for your business, it is important to avoid overworking your employees. Make sure that they have plenty of time in their schedules to spend with their families and loved ones. Try to encourage employees to avoid working overtime unless it is absolutely necessary. Additionally, convince them to take the vacation time that they are due each year rather than working straight through it.

Overcome The Stigma Associated With Mental Health

One of the challenges of dealing with mental health problems in the workplace is overcoming the stigma that often surrounds them. One way that you can begin taking steps toward changing attitudes in your place of business is by signing the employer pledge known as the Time to Change. In essence, this document shows that you are willing to think about mental health issues at work in a different way, providing support for employees who are facing these types of issues. You may also want to take advantage of other opportunities to start a dialogue. For instance, during the month of February, National Time to Talk Day is a good time to get employees together to discuss mental health.

Discuss Mental Health Openly In The Workplace

Instead of creating a hush-hush environment around mental health, make it a part of your everyday conversations. The more you talk about the topic, the more comfortable people will become discussing it. Workers are more likely to share their thoughts, opinions, and concerns if they know that they are in a supportive environment.

Take Care Of Your Own Mental Health

As an employer, you have a responsibility to act in the same way that you want your employees to act. In this case, that means taking care of your own mental health. When they see you caring for yourself, they will be more likely to care for themselves as well.

Training Employees How To Deal With Mental Health Related Crises

Most workplaces offer basic first aid training to their employees. Another type of training that you may want to consider adding is mental health training that addresses how to deal with a crisis. Anytime a mental health emergency arises with an employee, customer, or anyone else on site, having training on how to deal with the situation can make a real difference.

Create An Environment That Promotes Well-Being

Think about how you can support the mental well-being of your employees. For instance, allowing them to take time off to volunteer, providing a space where they can exercise during their lunch break, or creating quiet areas where they can meditate are simple ways to foster better mental health in the workplace. Even hiring someone such as  to offer psychotherapy every so often can be vital and really help workers feeling under the cosh.

Ask For Help If You Need It

Dealing with mental health issues at work can be extremely difficult. If you are having trouble providing an employee or a coworker with the support that they need, don’t hesitate to reach out for help. Getting advice from a professional who is knowledgeable about mental health in the workplace can help you resolve issues quickly and effectively.

Previous post:

Next post: