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Encouraging acceptance of mental health in the workplace

Workplace mental health shouldn't be taboo anymore. Here's how to tackle it.
Encouraging acceptance of mental health in the workplace

By

Chavál-Patrice Morris

|

Tuesday, November 9, 2021

Whether that's work-related or not, many of us are under stress, depressed or burnt out, or perhaps we know someone who is. It's ok to not know what state your mind is in. Regardless, your emotions matter, and you should not feel guilty about them.


The majority of our waking hours are spent at work; here, we earn our income and make friends. But, a fulfilling job can improve your mental health and overall wellbeing. 


Mental health is a heavy topic, however, 1 in 4  people have experienced mental health problems in the workplace. Employers must take it seriously, especially when an employee is suffering. 


95% of employees call in sick for other reasons besides stress because of the stigma that surrounds mental health in the workplace. Often, we are hesitant to be candid about problems we're facing for fear of being ridiculed or not being taken seriously. 


When asked how workplace stress had affected them, almost one in five (21%) said they called in sick to avoid work.


The workplace should not be an environment where we feel we have to walk on eggshells and hide our emotions.


Let's solve it:


The World Health Organisation quotes “Mental health is produced socially: the presence or absence of mental health is above all a social indicator and therefore requires social, as well as individual solutions.” Our mission at Tahora is to connect colleagues through common interests and eliminate loneliness by creating a sense of belonging. 


Employers should prioritise employee wellbeing; a strong workforce is crucial to workplace success. Researchers at the University of Warwick concluded that employee wellbeing can boost productivity by 12%. Healthier and more committed employees tend to deliver better customer service and are more productive.


We can improve employee wellbeing by creating a safe space for all; holding workshops and talks on mental health awareness can eliminate the negative stigma that it currently holds. Moreover, it encourages employees to speak more openly about their personal battles. As an employer, it gives you the opportunity to understand how mental health impacts your employees.


Keep in touch with your employees and have regular checkups to see how things are going. According to Mind, 30% of staff disagreed with the statement 'I would feel able to talk openly with my line manager if I was feeling stressed'. Establishing trust means being transparent with your staff.


Set clear boundaries between work and home to promote work/life balance and mental health breaks. Encourage employees to take a break from their desk or station, go for a walk, and take time away from their screens. Without breaks, we would all suffer from burnout.  


There are a multitude of ways to improve wellness and wellbeing throughout the workplace, but, the main thing is to remember that our feelings are not to be ignored; it's ok not to be okay. And for those suffering, never lose hope. It will get better.