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Mental Health & Wellbeing, we all have it but how can we best protect it?

Mental Health & Wellbeing, we all have it but how can we best protect it?

 10th October 2021

How can we best protect and look after our mental health to make sure we manage, treat, and even foresee mental ill-health within the workplace?

We all have ‘mental health’ just as we all have physical health and just like physical health it doesn’t always stay the same. We can have poor mental health without having an illness and likewise you can have good mental health with a mental illness, but how can we best protect and look after that crucial balance to make sure we manage, treat, and even foresee mental ill-health within the workplace?

World Mental Health day is the 10th October 2021 and this year’s theme is Mental Health in an Unequal World, but what does that mean? This year’s theme will show how 75% to 95% of people with mental disorders in low- and middle-income countries are still unable to access mental health services at all, and access in high income countries is not much better (World Federation for Mental Health Website). By the end of June 2021 in the UK alone 1.46 million people accessed NHS Mental Health services of which 340, 694 people were in contact with children’s and young people’s mental health services (NHS Digital data website June 2021 report). For a time when it can take up to 15 years for a person to access the right support and get the correct treatment in place, these statistics are for 1 month this year are staggering, and the theme of World mental Health Day seems to be a timely fit (World Federation for Mental Health Website).

So, what can our leaders do in our workplaces to support the 1.46 million people each month seeking support services for Mental illness? Leaders need to recognise that Mental Health or Wellbeing programmes are no longer a ‘nice to have’ item, it is something that should and must now be a necessity and a crucial part of the work culture. With the UK stress levels are still higher than pre pandemic rates (17% July 2021 compared to 10% pre pandemic – Office for National Statistics), support should be there for employees, to help the NHS with the now ever increasing Mental Health epidemic that we find ourselves in.

Here are some strategies to help you and your leaders start to decrease the work-related risk & stress factors which can contribute to Mental illness in the workplace:

  • How well do you know your team; to spot the signs?
    • Everyone is different including their vulnerability and resilience
    • Is their wellbeing on your agenda? And how available are you for a chat?
  • Lead by example to promote healthy working habits
    • Consider how you currently behave at work and how you openly protect your own health and wellbeing
  • Review workloads, duties and responsibilities
    • Are deadlines and expectations realistic? Are people working excessive hours? How do you support a healthy work-life balance?
    • Encourage collaboration and social connection
    • Consider the ‘small things’ that can make a big difference
  • Discourage ‘presenteeism’ in your team
    • Make clear that you don’t expect anyone to work when ill. Recovering means switching off and ignore emails.
  • Actively support people in the workplace
    • Support employees in helping them spot the signs of stress and mental ill-health, in themselves as well as others. What support does your organisation have such as an Employee Assistance programme (EAP), Occupational Health or Mental Health First Aid

 

Leading well is about making sure our ambitions for employee wellbeing aren’t restricted to a well-meaning wellbeing programme. Leading Well is about creating the cultural foundations to ensure we can create a working environment which is happy, healthy, and sustainable. Leading Well is about giving leaders and managers the confidence and capability to support and guide people effectively when it comes to wellbeing matters and – ultimately – give them the knowhow to encourage, inspire and motivate people to make healthy choices for themselves.

 

No matter what we do to try and protect people from ill-health, sadly sometimes people do get ill and when this happens, organisations need to have the services in place to support people in times of crisis and distress. Our Mental Health First Aid programmes are designed to provide people with the confidence and practical tools to support colleagues in the workplace. We deliver the full suit of Mental Health First Aid England courses including Adult Mental Health First Aid course and Youth Mental Health First Aid. For all our open courses click here to find out more and book. If you have more than 6 people that require development, please get in touch to dicuss on info@leading-well.uk.

 

Using Lumina learning tools can support meaningful personal growth to help people at all levels be more adaptable, build stronger relationships and experience greater levels of wellbeing. With innovative personalised solutions for individuals, teams, and organisations such as Lumina Spark, Lumina Leader and Lumina Emotion your team will learn how to thrive. Click here to read more and contact us.

 

We all have Mental Health so let’s get to know it, understand it, share it, and protect it. Contact us today to start your journey to Leading Well.

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Leading Well is Celebrating World Mental Health Day 2021 – Mental Health in an Unequal world.