Fostering mental health in the workplace

In today’s fast-paced and often stressful work environment, mental health has been emerging as a critical area of concern. The HR department is no longer solely responsible for prioritising wellbeing, as we all play a pivotal role in shaping a supportive workplace culture.

By implementing proactive strategies, we can create an environment where people feel valued, understood, and supported.

Recognising the importance of mental health

Mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, and burnout can significantly impact an individual’s performance, productivity, and overall job satisfaction. The World Health Organisation estimates that depression and anxiety cost the global economy $1 trillion per year in lost productivity.

Closer to home, stress is the leading cause of work-related ill health in Jersey, accounting for 65% of all ill-health cases in 2022, according to the Jersey Health and Safety Inspectorate. These statistics mean it’s crucial for your leadership team to recognise mental health as an integral component of overall wellness at work.

Creating a supportive environment

Fostering good mental health in the workplace requires creating an environment where people feel safe discussing their mental health without fear of stigma or discrimination. Promoting a culture of openness and education can help you to achieve this.

You may want to consider implementing training programmes that educate your team about mental health issues. This will help reduce stigma and encourage empathy and understanding.

Offering access to a health and wellbeing coach is another way of increasing awareness. Coaches can offer tailored strategies and practical techniques to help your people manage stress effectively.

Establishing mental health policies

Developing comprehensive mental health policies has been a growing trend in recent years. Any policies should outline your company’s commitment to good mental health, provide guidelines for addressing mental health issues, and detail the resources available to your people.

Key elements of such policies might include flexible working arrangements, access to mental health resources, and protocols for supporting individuals returning to work after a mental health-related absence.

Providing access to resources

Spend some time researching external mental health services in your local area. You may find great resources to share with your team, such as hotlines and counselling centres. Here are a few places to get you started:

Providing access to an Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) is another way you can show your commitment to tackling mental health issues as an organisation. EAPs offer confidential counselling services that your people can use to address personal or work-related issues. As there is no cost to the individual, having access to an EAP may remove some of the barriers to psychology that many individuals encounter.

Promoting work-life balance

Maintaining a healthy work-life balance is vital for our mental health, and the post-Covid push for flexible working shows that this is still at the forefront of people’s minds. Many working adults across the Channel Islands are advocating for flexible hours, remote work options, and adequate time off.

By encouraging a balance between work and personal life, we’re less likely to experience burnout, more likely to care for our mental health, and more likely to find satisfaction in our jobs.

Leading by example

Your leadership teams should be leading by example when it comes to mental health at work. Demonstrating healthy work habits and prioritising your own wellbeing will set a positive example for the rest of your business and make leaps towards sustaining a positive workplace culture.

By taking a proactive approach, you can create a supportive environment that promotes wellbeing, enhances job satisfaction, and drives organisational success. In doing so, you’ll be helping to build your team’s resilience and ensure they’re capable of navigating the challenges of today’s dynamic work environment.

More News & Insights

Sign Up for Updates

if you would like to sign up to our regular informative newsletter, please complete the form below.