It is widely acknowledged that employment is generally good for mental health and wellbeing. However, sometimes the workplace can contribute to the development and worsening of mental health problems. Stressful working environments, bullying and monotonous work are just some of the things that can lead to mental ill-health in the workplace.
In 2018/19, there were over 600,000 reported cases of work-related stress, depression or anxiety in the UK. However, in reality that number is probably larger, as there is often still a culture of silence around mental health in the workplace. More than half of people refrain from telling their boss/colleagues about the issues they’re experiencing because of the associated stigma.
Breaking stigma in the workplace
1 in 4 workers in the UK have called in sick due to unmanageable stress, but a whopping 95% reportedly gave a different reason as to why they needed time off. There’s a big need to break this stigma surrounding mental health in the workplace so that employees can become more open with how they’re feeling, and not to feel any shame in talking to a colleague or boss. Here are some things that we believe companies can do to normalise conversations about mental health:
- Spread awareness of mental health and wellbeing amongst staff through training or education
- Implement a ‘buddy’ system where people can get support if they want to
- Sign their company up to a 'breaking stigma' campaign, such as the Time To Change Employer Pledge
Support employees with self-help material
People with physical health problems already use self-help tools to control their symptoms. For instance, there are countless apps which are currently being used to support people in getting active and lose weight. Self-help can have a positive impact in mental health and the prevention of mental health problemens as well. Offering employees tools to learn to cope with challenging mental health conditions and to create sustainable behaviour changes in their life helps to prevent more serious problems.
We believe that online self-help material can be a great start-off point. Minddistrict offers several self-help tools and modules, like Work Stress, Learn to Relax and Focus on your health. These modules can be effective in supporting people who are experiencing psychological issues in the workplace remotely. People can work on their health on a tablet, phone or computer anywhere, at any time. This flexibility is great for people with busy lives and careers, because you never know when you might get just a little bit of time to work on yourself.
Get in touch
Do you want to know more about how we can support employees with online support? Are you interested to try out ehealth in your organisation? Discover our solution for workplace wellbeing, or get in touch to find out more and see a demo of the platform.