There has been an improvement concerning attitudes to mental health in the workplace, however, there is still so much to do.
A study by the health insurer Bupa, showed that 94% of UK business leaders surveyed admitted there is a prejudice in their organisation towards people with mental health issue, while 7 in 10 employees surveyed said they didn’t feel they could speak candidly about issues or concerns around mental health.
Taking that into consideration, here are 6 ways to improve mental health in the workplace:
Check in with staff on a regular basis with staff to see if they have any issues. Make sure the door is always open if a staff member would like to discuss any worries they may have.
Sheenagh McCullagh, a HR Consultant, at EmpowerHR offers her advice to improve communication in the workplace for the better.
“Ensure seniors manager and HR have an ‘open door’ policy in relation to the communication of positive mental health. This is essential in facilitating employees to talk openly about mental health issues. This communication should be structured and meaningful.”
2. Promote Healthy Eating
Recent studies that good nutrition is essential for our mental health and that a number of mental health conditions may be influenced by dietary factors.
Rather than providing vending machines with sweets and fizzy drinks, place fruit, nuts and a water cooler in the office. A big orange might not sound as appealing as a snickers but a good diet is needed for our mental health!
Educating staff is essential to improve mental health in the organisations. Encourage speakers to come in to talk about mental health and make sure guides are readily available for staff.
It’s also vital to make sure that managers or supervisors are trained and provided with the resources to address the mental health in the workplace. This can then allow to manager to spot stress or poor work life balances. Managers and supervisors play a crucial role to determine if employees distress is resolved or getting worse.
4. Improve Work & Life Balance
Don’t be focusing too much on work, your staff have a life too! Have some fun with them as you will reap the benefits by having a happier and productive team.
There are so many team building exercises that can be done such as morning glory which is a morning sober rave, dinner and drinks after work or the Tough Mother Run!
5. Improve the Working Environment
Improving the working environment on staff can have a big impact on improving staff’s mental health.
Allow staff to listen to their own music with their headphones or play music on the speaker, as research shows that listening to music can lift your mood! A few songs from One Direction will sure to lift the moods!
Plants will improve the working environment as they help increase levels of positivity and make us feel more secure and relaxed.
Encouraging staff to stand more is also really important as sitting down is extremely bad for our emotional well-being. Go for meetings outside, encourage staff to pop over to each other’s desk to say hi rather than using Skype!
6. Make Exercise Easier
A number of studies show that making time for exercise provides some serious mental health benefits, with celebrities such as Lena Dunham describing how fitness helps her with anxiety and depression. She said, “I know it’s mad annoying when people tell you to exercise, and it took me about 16 medicated years to listen. I’m glad I did. It isn’t about the ass, it’s about the brain.”
Encourage employees to use their lunch hours or free time to get active by incorporating ‘Yoga Wednesdays’ every week!