Have you been feeling more tired than usual? Or lost interest in things that used to mean something to you? Has your appetite changed?
These are just a few changes that can act as indicators of issues with our mental health. We may also notice these changes in a colleague and think they might need support. We notice these changes in ourselves and others because it is normal to have shifting emotions, depending on what we are experiencing, from time to time.
There is evidence that some people’s mental health has been impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic. Around a third of adults and young people say their mental health has worsened since March 2020 and one in five adults reporting that they did not seek support because they did not think their problem was serious enough (MIND, 2021).
Why addressing mental health in the workplace is important
Accessing advice and support quickly after noticing changes in ourselves or others improves the chances of minimising the impact on other areas of our life – for example family disruption and occupational difficulties (Department of Health, 2011).
Work-related stress is an issue of itself and can also cause mental health issues, as we lend thought to our performance, environment, security and social setting. Differentiating between manageable stress and a mental health issue is important. A useful tool to understand the wider picture of how mental health affects your life is by mapping a ‘Vicious Cycle’.
For instance, if you are feeling stressed because you have a deadline approaching you might skip your lunch break or decide to work late at home. By missing breaks or down-time we alter our work-life balance. This can affect our social relationships or sense of happiness. From here, we may exasperate other mental health problems such as anxiety about going to work. The diagram below explains the link between thought, emotions, behaviour and physical responses.
I’m an employer – how can I help?
Time To Talk Day takes place on Thursday 3 February 2022. It provides an opportunity for us to focus on breaking stigma associated with mental health and raising awareness of appropriate support.
We all need to work together at recognising and empowering each other to seek help when we need it, and this can start by simply taking time to talk.
There are lots of resourceful ways to support your team that won’t cause big disruptions to your timetable or require lots of planning.
Here are our top five suggests mental wellbeing suggestions for you to try:
GIVE - Raise awareness by visiting www.timetotalkday.co.uk for access to downloadable resources, information on how to take part, and a dedicated Employers section with lots of ideas on talking about mental health within the workplace.
KEEP LEARNING - Learn more about the impact of Covid-19 on mental wellbeing and how to help people with different needs cope with the impact by completing this free Psychological First Aid training certified by Public Health England.
CONNECT - Have fun by sharing this Kahoot! with your team, or even make your own. Not familiar with Kahoot? You can create a free profile and make interactive quizzes which are sure to engage the team and boost morale.
TAKE NOTICE - Through mindful living practices we can relax the body and mind to help reduce stress. You may have heard of the Headspace app, which As an employer, you can access Headspace for Work and decide if this would be beneficial to offer your staff.
BE ACTIVE - Having a dedicated Mental Health Champion is a great way to raise awareness of mental health and challenge stigma. In every team there will be someone with a passion for advocating positive health and wellbeing.
If you are interested in learning more about the different ways to support your team with their mental health, Reed Wellbeing are here to help with any questions and access to lots of resources! Get in touch.
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