Today, Thursday 10th of October is World Mental Health Day.
Today we at Ventula remind ourselves and our network just how important valuing our
colleagues’, employees’ and our own mental health and wellbeing is.
Statistics show that the most common cause of stress, anxiety and depression for people
between the age of 18 and 54 in the UK is work. One in five British workers experience
moderate to high levels of work-related stress several times per week.
Among the biggest factors for work-related stress are long working hours and workload,
own and other’s performance, client/customer satisfaction, office politics and
poor company culture. Only around 7% of companies offer counselling services
and one-to-one meetings to staff suffering from mental health issues.
According to a 2017 Labour Force Survey (LFS), 49% of all working days lost in 2016-2017
were reported as being due to work-related stress, depression or anxiety. The
number of stress, anxiety and depression cases was 595,000. The number of days
lost - 15.4 million.
It is essential that we encourage and promote self-care in the workplace. This
benefits not only our own wellbeing, but it leads to us caring more for
everyone around us too.
Self-care is important for maintaining a healthy relationship with yourself and improving
self-esteem which in turn improves the way we think, boosts productivity
and performance and aids the way we interact and communicate with others.
Subsequently, this creates a caring team and a healthy working environment.
The signs of mental health issues in the workplace are often
very clear. They include isolation from the team, change of appearance,
absent-mindedness, missing deadlines and postponing meetings, procrastination,
indifference, lack of confidence and indecisiveness amongst many. We as
individuals can take steps to help our colleagues and businesses can set
meaningful practices and policies in place to aid the mental health and
wellbeing of their employees.
There are numerous ways we can promote and support self-care at work:
- Encourage staff to take regular leave across the year; allow working from home when possible; give
employees breaks away from their desk throughout the day
- Encourage unprejudiced communication within the team; facilitate strong bonds between co-workers by
maintaining a culture of respect and mutual support
- Allow employees to express opinion and take their ideas into account regardless of their position
- Encourage healthy eating by providing healthy office snacks or meals
- Communicate one-to-one with employees regularly
- Make time for out of work team activities – organise a trip, visit museums/galleries, attend events
together, organise work meals and parties
- Promote physical activities – i.e. Cycle to work, gym membership, team workouts, charity
- Set up regular training sessions at work to expand the knowledge base of all employees, thus boosting
productivity and satisfaction
Most importantly, take care of each other, don’t roll your eyes when your colleagues
need to vent out. No one is immune to workplace stress, anxiety and depression
and we all suffer differently. Do take time to listen and support and we,
within our teams and companies, can overcome the stigma of suffering silently.