Today is World Mental Health Day, and this year is a landmark anniversary. First held in 1992, today is the 25th day dedicated to raising awareness about mental health issues globally, and to fighting the still-associated stigma.
As we hear over and over again, one in every four people will experience some kind of mental health problem each year. But even more tragically, nine out of 10 of those people will experience stigma and discrimination because of it.
This year’s theme is mental health in the workplace. A number of seminars and walks are being organised in connection with the day in the city today.
A negative working environment can lead to poor mental and physical health, increase in substance use and loss of productivity. It’s important for employers to recognise that initiatives to promote mental health and wellbeing not only improve the health of their work force but also increases their output. When staff feel well-cared-for and happy at work, they are more likely to be engaged, motivated and loyal.
According to Metro:
What can I do to raise awareness of mental wellbeing in my workplace?
1. Get people talking – send this article around the workforce for starters.
2. Browse the resources available from the Mental Health Foundation.
3. Organise a Tea and Talk session to open up the conversation about what is needed in your work place.
4. Make a business case and take it to your senior management team – look at staff turnover and morale, gather information from exit interviews and identify key times of stress, such as during particularly busy periods.
5. Suggest your organisation has a mental health champion – this person will be a direct link between employees and senior management, taking the lead in talking about mental health.
6. Raise awareness of support and training available, such as Mental Health First Aid. A few statistics from the Mental Health Foundation : – More than 65 per cent of employees feel scared, embarrassed or unable to speak to their employer about mental health concerns.
Let’s make this World Mental Health Day a time to change our workplaces for the better.