Following up on mental health week, I thought I would take it upon myself to discuss the serious matters of mental health within the work place. I personally have a connection with this topic and I certainly feel it is a subject I am passionate about. I have had close friends and family suffer from mental health issues and I have watched how it can destroy people’s lives. It is proven that my generation certainly suffers from mental health and it has unfortunately become extremely common. Mental health is more accepted now than ever but I still don’t feel people realise the importance of it.
The Government’s Department of Health advises that one in four of us will experience mental illness at some point in our lives. Mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choices. Mental ill health can range from feeling ‘a bit low’, to common disorders such as anxiety and depression, to more severe and far less common conditions such as bipolar disorder or schizophrenia. In some cases, it can unfortunately and sadly lead to suicide.
The majority of us spend 1/3 of our lifetime at work and it is therefore important that employers and their staff take steps to promote positive mental health and support those experiencing mental ill health. Good mental health at work and great management go hand in hand and there is strong evidence that workplaces with high levels of mental wellbeing are more productive. Addressing Mental health at work increases productivity by 12%.
Why is understanding and addressing mental health important?
Mental health in general is important but mental health in the work place can seriously affect the way someone feels. People that feel good about themselves often work productively, interact well with colleagues and create success within the workplace.
A recent Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development study highlighted the impact that mental ill health can have on organisations. The study found that:
- 37% of sufferers are more likely to get into conflict with colleagues
- 57% find it harder to juggle multiple tasks
- 80% find it difficult to concentrate
- 62% take longer to do tasks
- 50% are potentially less patient with customers/clients.
The study also found that, for the first time, stress is the major cause of long-term absence in manual and non-manual workers.
I personally believe that when you acknowledge the physical and emotional well-being of your staff it can transform the face of the business completely. I also believe that businesses should aim for every workplace to be a place which encourages good mental health and which encourages workers to speak up and be heard.
If you would like to have an informal discussion, please contact Sydney Steele here about the roles we are currently working on.
Edited by Red Squirrel Digital.