Mental health in the workplace can be a hard topic to navigate. But with employee burnout on the rise, longer work days and more workload, mental health should be a priority for all businesses. So how can you help?
The Mental Health Foundation found that 12.7% of sick days taken in the UK could be attributed to mental health conditions. In addition to that, the Thriving at Work review (published in 2017) states that poor mental health costs the UK economy up to a whopping £99 billion every year.
Having a workplace that takes care of employees and their mental health is becoming increasingly important. You might be asking yourself: as an employer or startup founder, how can I best support my team?
1. Address Mental Health Taboos
85% of people still think there is stigma attached to mental health issues. Out of fear or embarrassment, many find it difficult to disclose their personal issues with their boss. They feel that could lead them to look weak or unfit for the job to their colleagues and would rather suffer behind a wall of silence than raise it in the workplace.
Addressing a positive stance towards mental health as an important part of your work culture can give your employees a sense of safety and trust. Knowing they are not alone on their journeys will make it easier for them to disclose issues they might be struggling with, especially if they feel like they are affecting their work, like for example ADHD.
2. Be Open About Conversations Around Mental Health
In order to create a safe space, you need to give your employees space to talk to you if they feel comfortable doing so. There is also a fine balance between being supportive and overstepping the line - show compassion instead of judgement and continue checking in with them if you know they are struggling.
Advice should not be given lightly, but remember that sometimes just listening can help your employee who is having a hard time.
3. Find Out How You Can Provide Support
Whether your employee is struggling with headaches, needs more support for their poor posture or is dealing with panic attacks, think about what you can do to better support them.
For example, a simple MOFT laptop stand could help them with posture and ‘’tech-neck’’ related headaches. The stand helps position laptops at angles that offer more comfort and reduce strain.
For dealing with burnout, you could try Spill, an app that helps guide your team towards the support they need right now by asking them a set of wellbeing questions.
Or perhaps Mental Health at Work is just what your business needs.. They offer bespoke mental health training programmes that affect change around mental health at work.
The sooner you create and then foster a sense of openness about mental health in your company, the better the staff retention will be. Talking about mental health signals to the team that everyone struggles at some point, but that’s okay and nothing to be ashamed about.
Being able to communicate freely about these issues will result in a more welcoming and accepting work culture and increase the overall wellbeing of individuals and teams alike.