Team member, Shona Markwell talks about Mental Health @ Work and progress that is being made. Is it enough?
It is suicide awareness week and it is time to speak about mental health at work. Starting a conversation about mental health doesn’t have to be difficult. Regardless of the size of your organisation, paying attention to mental health has never been so important as a recent survey carried out by the mental health charity, Mind, reveals that poor mental health affects half of all employees in the UK.
We know that employers want to do more for their employees and are starting to see mental health as a priority, but often do not know where to start.
Although awareness of mental health is now increasing, we still live in a world where those with mental health problems face challenges when it comes to getting the help they need, and many of those keep their feelings hidden, due to being afraid of other people’s responses, and the stigma that remains. Encouraging people to speak about their mental health concerns without fear, means that we need to create workplace cultures where people can be themselves, and feel at ease when reaching out for help when they need it. It really is vital that workplaces become environments where people feel safe to be themselves.
Mind, with support from The Royal Foundation have now launched their ‘mental health at work’ support website (www.mentalhealthatwork.org.uk) offering useful resources, toolkits, case studies, all promoting wellbeing. We are glad that movements are being made to improve mental health awareness. We are huge supporters of this, and at call hr we are open, and freely speak about our mental health, and would encourage you to as well.
There is now a place for a mental health plan in businesses, allowing mental health to become a natural part of the conversations that take place, and promoting wellbeing of employees.