This year the theme for Mental Health Awareness Week is doing good, feeling good. The campaign says, “ Doing good things for others can reduce stress, improve your emotional wellbeing and even benefit your physical health. It feels good to give and doesn’t have to be a grand gesture or even cost you money. They suggest you could:
- Pass on a compliment
- Smile and say thank you
- Acts of kindness to friends or strangers
- Get involved in a cause that means a lot to you
- Volunteer your time
This made me think about the workplace. How can we raise mental health issues in the workplace. The NHS have created some guidance for employers in small and medium business called Promoting mental wellbeing through productive and healthy working conditions.
You will defiantly have someone in the workplace who has experienced some kind of mental health problem. We know that in the UK 1 in 4 people will experience some kind of mental health problem in the course of a year. We also know that mixed anxiety and depression are the most common mental disorder in Britain.*
There are some really good guides on how to look after your mental health but its also important that employers have some positive guidance. At New Leaf we offer a package of EAP (Employee Assistance Programme) Corporate support to employers. This includes stress management, anger therapy, counselling and coaching. We offer a pay as you use system across Somerset which means it’s a very affordable option for employers.
Pressure at work can motivate some people, but the same amount of pressure can make others feel stressed and, over a long period, that’s not good for your mental health.
Here are some ideas of how to communicate with someone at work who you are concerned about.
Let your colleague share as much or as little as they want to. You may like to ask them if they can help you understand what they are going through. But its important not to try and diagnose them or do the classic, ” I know how you’re feeling!” as the chances are we really don’t know how someone is feeling. It can be very tempting to jump to a solution so how about trying more open ended questions like, “Why don’t you tell me how you are feeling?’ rather than ‘I can see you are feeling unhappy.”
Perhaps ask your colleague what has helped them in the past, do they have supportive friends or know of any support networks. Most of us have used unconsciously ways of coping even in very stressful situations to get through past events. Getting people to think about these coping mechanisms can be useful. Here is a more complete guide.
New Leaf can offer both individuals and employers a range of emotional support services. Give Becky a call on 07590684888 or email us [email protected]