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Seven Ways to Address Mental Health in Workforce

As employees across the board spend more time at work today, it is crucial for organisations to invest in the mental well-being of their personnel. A workforce that is mentally healthy is more productive. As a society, too, we are getting past mental health being a taboo subject, and more employers now want it discussed in the workplace. Almost every organisation today has third-party agreements with medical practitioners and health aggregators. The onus is now on leaders and the manager community to inculcate holistic mental well-being practices in the workplace.
Here are seven ways in which employers can ensure good staff mental health:

Create avenues for learning about it

Supporting mental health in the workplace has now become a greater necessity, especially after the pandemic, during which many people underwent severe hardship and even trauma. It is vital that employers create opportunities for all employees, especially managers, to learn about mental health, support other staff and spot signs of mental stress. A leadership team that understands mental well-being will go a long way toward having a happier, more aware, and more productive workforce.
Training personnel to share mental health concerns with managers and colleagues will not only create a happier and more open workplace but will also reflect in the company’s growth. Employees should be taught to be alert about their own emotional well-being so that they don’t burn out. For this, employers can conduct workshops and meetings where mental health awareness is the core focus.

Communicate about it

An open workplace should not just be inclusive of employees across different sexuality, financial profiles, gender but especially across different kinds of mental health profiles. Communication and inclusivity are a result of awareness of reality and create a more compassionate and, consequently, happier work environment.
A culture of sharing stories through employee assistance programs and communicating openly about mental health challenges will lead to a better workflow and a more sympathetic work environment. Happy employees mean better work.

Create a dialogue

With mental health concerns burgeoning across the world, employers should consider making it a part of the natural discourse at the workplace. One way to do that is by fostering more effective dialogue. Employees can take assessments or connect with team leaders, bringing up their concerns.
Workplace harassment and burnout should not be taken lightly. There can be internal committees within the workplace where employees can voice their issues.
Another effective way to create dialogue around mental health is by marking special days, such as World Mental Health Day or Suicide Prevention Day, when employees are encouraged to share their stories and support each other.

Organise activities around it

Employers and Human Resources professionals could intensify their efforts by regularly organising activities around mental wellness that provide outlets for employees to destress. Such activities need not be centred only around discussions and should include movement and exercise therapies such as dance, drama, art, craft, and aerobics, which are known to boost mental health.
Additionally, employers can create a designated space within the workplace premises where employees can refresh and rejuvenate themselves in times of stress.

Promote a healthy lifestyle

Employees should not just be taught about mental health but should also be encouraged to make healthy lifestyle choices sustained by good work-life balance. They should be informed about the benefits of adequate sleep, a healthy diet, frequent exercise, and a vibrant social life.
Exercise is known to benefit mental health by reducing anxiety, depression, and mood disorders and by, improving self-esteem and enhancing cognitive function. It also helps deal with symptoms such as low self-esteem and depressive withdrawal.

Sensitise the managers

It is important that a company’s line of managers is informed and educated enough to identify potential mental health issues among employees. It is vital to conduct psychoeducation sessions with the managers so that potential issues can be detected and diagnosed. After all, daily work stress may lead to chronic personality-type issues.

Promote mental well-being in company values

It is important that promoting mental health and alleviating related concerns be a part of a firm’s core value system. The happiness of employees should be ranked high among the company values, along with creativity and productivity. Employers should also create value for their workforce by offering benefits and facilities that extend to their families so that employees can remain stress-free.
While more businesses have realised the importance of mental health benefits and honest dialogue, a few are also leading the way to enhance company culture, putting mental health first. These industry leaders have made it clear that any firm can make positive changes.
Views of the author are personal and do not necessarily represent the website’s views.
Sumit SabharwalSumit Sabharwal represents Fujitsu as the Vice President – HR, Fujitsu Global Delivery Centers (GDCs). In his current role, Sumit leads multi-country, multi-disciplinary teams in helping organisations succeed, heading a team of close to 300+ HR professionals and supporting a business headcount of close to 20,000 employees. Sumit is focused on his objectives of driving a culture of inclusivity in the organisation and increasing profitability with sustainable business growth.