Taking Care of Mental Health in the Workplace

Mental health in the workplace is becoming a much talked-about subject. The promotion of mental well-being is very important if you want to see your employees enjoying the best possible physical health, and if you'd like to ensure maximum productivity.

The Institute of Directors (IoD) conducted a survey of 1,150 employees and 586 employers. It found that just 7 per cent of employers have made the effort to discuss mental health issues with their workers, despite the fact that 8 in 10 of them considered it important to make provisions to promote emotional well-being. Only 23 per cent surveyed had a company policy on it.

Of the workers, a third of them revealed that they found it difficult to complete tasks due to stress and anxiety. 68 per cent felt it was their employer's responsibility to make arrangements to deal with mental health issues amongst staff.

Simon Walker, director general of the IoD, said: "Businesses have an enormous role to play in creating an environment where such issues can be discussed openly, effectively and safely.

"After all, we spend a huge amount of our lives at work and among colleagues, so we have to take steps to ensure that the work environment, particularly in smaller businesses, is one where mental health issues are well understood."

Exploring Avenues to Help With Workplace Mental Health

If as an employer you are keen to explore some avenues that could help deal with mental health in the workplace, the best place to start is with compiling a policy. Such a thing could include the promotion of mental well-being, supporting staff by monitoring working environments and helping supervisors to develop skills to help them identify and manage any issues.

Think about how you might provide advice to anyone who has mental health problems, perhaps by working alongside healthcare professionals. For those who have taken leave because of such issues, consider how you might help them back to work.

Encouraging employees to talk and promoting an open-door policy on the subject is good practice and you could also liaise with any local outreach groups in your area that may be able to come and hold workshops to help the entire organisation.

If you're not sure where to start, your bookkeepers will usually be able to point you in the right direction.

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