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This course aims to shed light on mental health issues, empower leaders and managers to spot the signs of mental health issues, know how to prevent & intervene when necessary, and how to maintain a culture where all employees are supported and empowered to thrive in the workplace.
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Mental Health in the Workplace
WELCOME! Mental health and mental health-related symptoms are some of the most common reasons an employee may take time off from work.
The effects of a mental health issue can keep productivity and revenue down in the workplace and create unrest within the culture of the company.
Let's discuss how we can help your employees with this course.
LESSON OBJECTIVES In this lesson, you'll be able to: Define what is a mental illness, Identify its common types, Enumerate its impacts, and Know what to do when a colleague has a mental illness.
Why is workplace mental health important? Swipe left to see more
When the staff feels happy and well cared for, they are more engaged, more motivated, and more loyal.
Thus, employee mental health should be a priority for senior leadership.
As many as a third of employees would consider leaving their job if they didn’t feel looked after by their employer and a further 21% would be less motivated and productive.
How can companies promote good mental health? Safeguarding your staff's wellbeing, Addressing problems before they become severe, and Supporting your staff when issues do emerge.
Remember: Although its symptoms may seem prevalent in a lot of people, this does not automatically make them mentally ill. Aside from having symptoms, one must take into consideration a lot of things, i.e. duration, severity, and family history for a diagnosis to happen. The DSM-5 has specifications for these illnesses which are only diagnosed by psychiatrists. If you suspect a colleague has a mental illness, do not immediately jump to conclusions. You may refer them first to a mental health professional.
Spotting the Signs
Mental health issues affect nearly 1 in 5 people at some point in their lifetime. Chances are good that someone in your workplace is afflicted by a mental illness.
However, mental illness isn’t easy to recognise. With the stigmas surrounding mental health, employees who are already struggling may be reluctant to come forward.
Knowing the warning signs and creating a culture of care often result in positive outcomes. Yet, less than half of people experiencing mental health conditions get help.
Untreated mental health conditions can be costly to employers in terms of lost productivity, low-quality performance, loss of high performing employees, and rising disability rates.
The more we know about the warning signs of common conditions in the workplace, like depression and anxiety, the more proactive we can be in supporting ourselves and others.
Signs of Poor Mental Health in the Workplace
Unkempt Appearance They might find it difficult to keep up their appearance and may have poor hygiene habits, dress inappropriately at work, etc.
Mood Swings, Emotional Rollercoasters, and Erratic Behavior Even at work, mental health problems can result in mood swings and inconsistent emotions, where there may be extreme highs and lows. Behaviors may seem strange and/or turn unusual quickly as well.
Easily Irritated, Frustrated, or Angered The anxiety and stress associated with mental health problems mean many people get frustrated or irritated easily. This can be noticed in how they approach projects, react to co-workers, etc.
Changes in Eating or Sleeping Behaviors People with mental health concerns may not show drastically evident symptoms. You may spot this though in employees who don't eat at lunch, refuse to eat with co-workers, and are sleep deprivation.
Confusion or Inability for Problem Solving If you notice your employee is having a difficult time focusing, solving problems, or is easily getting confused, it could be a sign of a mental health issue.
Unnecessary Fear or Anxiety These employees may be paranoid about co-workers or employers, anxious about keeping their job, or have fears about small things. These fears and anxieties are typically beyond a normal rationale.
Decrease in Productivity Whether it’s because of fatigue, lack of sleep, anxieties, or something else, mental health issues make it hard to focus and be productive. If you find an employee’s productivity is down, it may be a symptom of a deeper, mental illness.
Self-Isolation Employees who seem withdrawn from co-workers and the social culture at the company may do so as a symptom of mental illness. Many people with mental health concerns suffer from isolation, loneliness, and self-loathing.
Self-Medication As a way to self-medicate, employees with mental health issues may turn to alcohol, drugs, food, sex, or another addiction. This is typically a more urgent sign that your employee needs help.
Which of these are signs of poor mental health? You may select multiple answers.
Prevention and Intervention
Mental health can be a very personal and sensitive topic of conversation to have between employees, co-workers, and employers.
Never discriminate against someone with a mental illness. People suffering from mental health issues don't have a choice in what to feel. Given the chance, they would prefer that their mental health do not affect their life.
Mental health concerns are unlike other performance-related issues and therefore, the approach must be different and more empathetic.
As a leader, you must have a plan not just for the benefit of the company, but for the employee as well.
LESSON OBJECTIVES In this lesson, we will discuss how you can prevent, intervene, and protect your employees from foreseeable mental health triggers.
How can we practice intervention? Swipe left to see more
Support must be available Make sure staff know what support is available through your intranet or employee handbook. Find opportunities throughout the year to remind people what is available and how to access it.
Guidance Provide guidance and support to help employees to become more resilient and more able to positively adapt to change in the workplace.
Keep in touch Keep in touch with staff so they don’t disengage from the workplace and let them know you are available to provide support.
Stress Management Provide accessible guidance on how to manage stress. Understand that problems with stress arise when there is an imbalance between what is expected of someone and their beliefs about whether they can meet those demands.
Check in on your employees. Consider holding regular informal ‘drop-in’ sessions with someone from HR, or even a third party, to encourage people to talk through any issues they may be experiencing
Mental Health Awareness Training Provide training and resources for line managers to empowering them to spot the signs of mental health. Make sure you follow up with them to make sure they have taken this on board and understand how this applies to their own role
Assistance Programmes Check that you have an Employee Assistance Programme to provide additional support. These can offer a range of services from counselling to legal advice.
Offer options for professional help. Your Employee Assistance Programme will have plenty of resources available to help your managers become more comfortable with the issues relating to mental health.
**Be accomodating. ** Allow flexible working and accommodations for all staff to work from home. During a period of stress or worry, give them the option to work from home if they need to be in more relaxed surroundings.
How can you ensure your employees' protection? **Have employee benefits for mental health. ** Accessibility to professional help Make use of Occupational Health services, professional third parties, and charities to address health problems and make any necessary adjustments in the workplace. **Return to work plans ** Develop a tailored and phased return to work plan to help employees ease back into the workplace when they are ready. Return to work interviews These ensure the employee hasn’t come back too early and can help you get to the root of a problem, as well as being an effective tool for absence management. Do regular check-ins. Oftentimes, support can drop off once they are settled back in the workplace, but it is important to have an ongoing and meaningful dialogue to prevent problems from recurring.
Which of the following are the correct steps to protect and support your employee's recovery process? You may select multiple answers.
Building a Supportive Culture
The Mental Health Foundation in the UK says that 9 out of 10 people with mental health problems experience stigma and discrimination.
Mental health is still a taboo subject in the workplace. A survey shows that 56% of employers said that they would not hire someone with depression even if they were the best candidate for the job.
To break this taboo and create an open, caring, and supportive culture within the workplace, it’s important to get your board on the side and take a top-down approach.
If leaders are speaking out on the issue, perhaps even drawing on their own experience, then this attitude will trickle down to managers and then staff.
Addressing stigma and discrimination by building a supportive culture in the workplace is critical to ensuring that people can come forward and seek help.
We all have a role to play in chipping away at the stigma and creating a workplace culture supportive of mental health so people are encouraged to seek help when it’s needed.
LESSON OBJECTIVES In this lesson, you will learn: How to create a supportive culture for employees with mental health issues, How to create a mentally healthy workplace, and Some strategies you may do to ensure the continuation of this healthy culture.
Creating Supportive Work Cultures
Increase Awareness Give employees access to mental health education and resources from national organisations. You may also develop your own initiatives and programs!
Offer Training to Managers Provide opportunities for managers to attend relevant mental health training. Every employee is different. Avoid going for one-size-fits-all solutions.
Encourage Work-Life Balance Work-life balance is an essential aspect of a healthy work environment and employers should offer flexible work options. This helps reduce stress and prevent burnout.
Mental Health Policies You may create policies to prevent discrimination and stigma around depression in the workplace. If you already have some policies in place, review your current policies and see if they can better support employees.
Treat People Fairly Fairness allows room for employees to state how they want and need to be treated. Assuming that your employees share your values and preferences will create a climate of low diversity and inclusion-- be mindful of those who get excluded from your values.
Provide Screening Resources You can look out for your employees’ mental health by encouraging participation in free and anonymous online screenings.
Monitor Employee Engagement Pay attention to engagement surveys. Employee engagement is also a preventive measure for your employees from developing health issues.
Strategies to Support Mental Health in the Workplace Make mental health self-assessment tools accessible. 2. ## Offer free or subsidized clinical screenings for depression. You must follow this with direct feedback or a clinical referral, if appropriate. 3. ## Offer fair health insurance. Employees with mental health issues will need financial help for their medications and counseling. 4. ## Offer counseling as part of health insurance. Provide free or subsidized lifestyle coaching, counseling, or self-management programs. 5. ## Ensure mental health awareness. Distribute materials, such as brochures, flyers, or videos, to all employees about mental health awareness. 6. ## Host seminars or workshops. These must address depression and stress management techniques, i.e. mindfulness, breathing exercises, and meditation. 7. ## Create spaces for relaxation in the office. 8. ## Train your management. Provide managers with training to help them recognize the signs and symptoms of stress and depression in team members. 9. ## Democratize decision-making. Give employees opportunities to participate in discussions and decisions about issues in the workplace that cause them stress.
Which strategies are effective and efficient? You may select multiple answers.
Very informative. Interesting and engaging format
Its more important