According to the World Health Organisation, Mental Health is “the emotional and spiritual resilience that allows us to enjoy life and survive pain, disappointment and sadness. It is a positive sense of wellbeing and an underlying belief in our own and others dignity and worth”.
• 1 in 4 adults will experience a diagnosable mental illness every year.
• 43% of staff said management style was a direct cause of stress at work.
• 45% of those with a diagnosed mental health condition have not told their current employer.
• 70% of managers are not confident about having sensitive discussions or signposting staff to expert help.
As a result of the lack of knowledge and understanding surrounding mental health, there can be stigma and discrimination towards people with mental health conditions. This stigma can impede or delay someone with mental health issues getting the help and support they need. There is not only a stigma in the workplace for those suffering with mental health issues but also a wider public fear of mental illness. Society has reinforced negative stereotypes about mental health and wellbeing through channels such as the press, social media and wider general media.
Creating a supportive culture in the workplace is vital. Ultimately, a supportive culture in the workplace starts from the top down. It is important to have all managers trained in how to deal with mental health concerns and to treat mental health the same as physical health. Involving your employees and encouraging them to talk about mental health is also important. Creating an environment where employees can actively discuss how they are feeling will create a more positive atmosphere and help staff with poor mental health feel that they are supported by their employers and colleagues.
It is important to avoid any stigma or discrimination around mental health problems. A lack of knowledge and understanding around mental health can lead to difficulties in the workplace. A poor use of language or humiliating behaviour towards people with mental health problems will create a negative atmosphere for all employees. Ultimately, employees with mental health issues can be just as productive as any other employees, as long as they are effectively supported.
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