For a couple of years already mental health has been a key issue for companies worldwide with an estimated 200 million workdays lost per year, and without any surprise, the pandemic has increased that phenomenon.

How can we define mental health?

A recent survey carried out last year and published by Harvard Business Review highlighted that 85% of the respondents thought their general well-being had declined due to the Covid 19, and mental health was the main area of that decline. Among others, respondents reported that “coping with the pervasive anxiety and worry during this pandemic took up a lot of bandwidth” or “the lack of separation between home and work made stepping away more difficult”.

 

Times are changing thanks to the younger generations

Despite the recent media coverage and the fact that many celebrities have openly talked about their challenges, it is not enough to make people feel safe to talk about mental health at work.

A recent study carried in US workplaces found that almost 60% of employees have never spoken to anyone at work regarding their mental health, and another 50% felt it was not a priority in their company.

Millenials and GenZs have put mental health on top of their priorities in life and as they are an important part of today’s workforce, it makes it even more urgent for companies to integrate it into their training and development programs.

 

Prevention has its place in organisations - under certain conditions

Managers can play an important role in helping prevent and detect mental health issues within their teams.

The prevention dimension is quite obvious because it relates to the manager’s behaviour, and the practices he/she has implemented to create a positive climate to “nip issues in the bud”. For example, defining work in such a way that people see goals as challenging and do not consider them as unrealistic expectations or menacing, promoting a culture where honest communication and feedback are the norm, and allowing for reasonable organizational adjustments if needed.

The detection dimension is more difficult for managers because the potential signs will not automatically point towards mental health issues. Even though it is not always true, deterioration in work performance could be a sign as could be changes in behaviour like increased irritability or loss of interest in the work. Engaging dialogue is crucial but it needs to be done in a certain way to allow the person to talk openly about his/her issues.

 

Training and raising awareness for managers

To be able to fully play their role regarding mental health prevention, managers must be trained to have a better understanding of what mental health really is, which factors play into it and learn how to observe and detect the potential signs.

After all, they must feel confident in their ability to talk about it with their teams which is sometimes the hardest part.

 

We have developed a special Mental Health Awareness Program. You can contact us directly at m.moutier@mlcadvisory.com to tell us about your needs and how we can meet them best.

Conferences: For everyone to understand the potential impact of mental health issues in the workplace, increase awareness of mental health disorders, know how to detect warning signs and identify potential prevention practices.

Mental health awareness training for managers: One day workshop to increase awareness on mental health in the workplace, identify possible prevention strategies, know how to detect warning signs and engage in dialogue with the employees concerned.

Mental health education: 8 weeks program (1,5 hour per week) for people suffering from stress, anxiety, sleep disorders, or having suffered from depression to help them better understand and manage their thoughts and emotions in order to achieve relief from feelings of distress. 

 

Communicated by MLC Advisory


Publié le 27 octobre 2021