Supporting Employee Mental Health – Mental Health Awareness Week 2023
17th May 2023
Did you know that the average UK employee will spend around 3,515 days of their lifetime working? With so much of our time spent at work, it’s important that we are happy and healthy in the workplace. This Mental Health Awareness Week, we wanted to share some of our tips on how to improve, raise awareness for, and support employees’ mental health in the workplace.
Create an Inclusive Workplace
Inclusivity and diversity play a huge part in mental health in the workplace. Our careers are often a huge part of who we are as people – creating a safe environment where employees feel comfortable being who they are will improve their overall happiness at work, and as a result their productivity and performance. An inclusive workplace is one that welcomes those from all backgrounds and fights against discrimination of any kind. All employees should be celebrated in an effort to help them feel comfortable and safe with who they are when at work.
But how do you improve inclusivity for your business? Start by acknowledging and celebrating awareness days such as International Women’s Day, Black History Month and Ramadan – these are just some opportunities to celebrate diversity within your business and to educate your workforce about different backgrounds to encourage respect and understanding amongst your employees.
Mental Health Training for Managers
Managing a team of people means learning how to spot the signs that one of your employees is struggling with their mental health at work, and how to go about offering them the right support. There are many online training courses available on mental health in the workplace, including courses by Mind and MHFA England.
Mental health awareness training for managers will provide them with the right skills to spot mental health struggles in their employees and help to prevent the situation from worsening. With the right training, managers can make adjustments to their team members’ day-to-day working lives to accommodate their mental health. This is especially important with those who are neurodivergent, as their environment can greatly affect their ability to work productively.
Access to Occupational Health Services
Seeking out support and treatment for mental health issues can be extremely difficult and take time through the NHS. Providing your employees access to private GPs and mental health treatments such as CBT and other therapies takes the stress out of having to go through the NHS, or pay to go private. There are many private healthcare platforms that offer packages for businesses, such as Vitality and YuLife, that make a wonderful added benefit for your employees and will help them get the support and treatment that they need.
Anxiety is the focus of this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week. Workplace anxiety can be caused numerous issues such as financial well-being, job performance and productivity, workload, and relationships with colleagues. It’s important for employers to recognise and address anxiety in the workplace, as it can begin to affect the employees’ life outside of work, and can result in a decline in their performance, directly affecting the business as a whole.
By scheduling regular one-to-ones with their managers, you can encourage your employees to voice their anxieties and concerns around their work life, giving managers the opportunity to support them and improve the situation, as well as help them further develop their careers.
Creating a Positive Environment
Our physical environment can have a great impact on how we feel mentally – there are many things you can implement in your office design to create a positive workplace that encourages productivity. Working indoors for hours on end can sometimes make us feel as though we are trapped, negatively affecting our mood. Bring the outdoors into your office space with a range of houseplants, which are proven to help reduce stress and even improve the air quality within your space. Other office design ideas for improving mental wellbeing include great lighting – low light levels can contribute to depression, especially for those who suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (3% of people are affected by SAD). Boost your lighting levels with glass partitioning and artificial lighting that mimics natural daylight.
Encouraging breaks is important for your employee’s mental health. Having a comfortable, sociable and well-equipped breakroom or office kitchen will give your employees a space away from their desks and computers to give their brain a break, enjoy a coffee alone or with their colleagues, and refresh their minds before heading back to work. This is why we are so passionate about providing businesses with quality refreshment solutions, such as our bean-to-cup coffee machines and water coolers so that we can help you improve your employee wellbeing.
At Liquidline, we pride ourselves on making our employees one of our top priorities, and that includes supporting their mental health and wellbeing at work. If you are interested in joining our wonderful team, you can view our current vacancies and learn more about life at Liquidline over on our Careers site.