It’s too hard and too difficult – tackling mental health
May was a hugely successful month for many employers who organised great activities for their teams to be able to stand up to every day stress and talk openly.
If you are finding it hard to reduce mental health related absence or create a safe environment, here are 5 things you can do
1. Pay attention to language – Dina O’Brien (Global CMO at Deliottes) recently shared some language that she had to address ““Mr. OCD is at it again — organising everything.” “She’s totally schizo today!” “He is being so bi-polar this week — one minute he’s up, the next he’s down.” Colleagues won’t be open if they feel they will be open to ridicule
2. Look at the process when your colleagues are absent – when they first call in to say they will be off sick does you manager follow a process or are they comfortable having an open conversation about how the employee is feeling today
3. Encourage open and honest conversations about mental health – We often film leaders/key influencers who openly share their mental health struggles and colleagues watching these can see you as an employer are willing to listen
4. Share tools and techniques to be resilient – Life can be busy; life can be tough but if employees are resilient to these challenges, they are less likely to struggle with poor mental health – Be proactive and share how to stay resilient
5. Train all staff to notice and act – If we saw a box about to fall on a colleague, we would immediately look to pull them into safety. If we see our colleagues’ behaviours change, we should have the same immediacy and look to talk to them with no hesitation
Make 2019 the year you help your organisation grasp the opportunity to stand up to every day stresses and you will find it’s quite easy if you look for support.
For more ideas on reducing mental health stigma and problems in the workplace check out https://letsgethealthy.co.uk/mental-health/