In light of October being Mental Health Month, Acacia Connection’s monthly blog will focus on ‘How to Create a Mentally Healthy Workplace’.
Almost half of the Australian population will experience mental health difficulties at some point in their lifetime, most commonly during their working years. Research shows that mental health and work both impact each other and so, by creating a mentally healthy workplace, organisations can improve their staff’s wellbeing and, in turn, see improved workplace outcomes.
This article will explore what a mentally healthy workplace is, why this is so important to create and maintain one, and how you can contribute to making your workplace mental health conscious.
Mental health refers to an individual’s psychological and emotional wellbeing, most commonly referring to depression and anxiety. 1/5 of Australians will experience mental health difficulties each year, with almost half of Australians experiencing mental ill-health at some stage of their life.
Mental ill-health not only is hugely debilitating on the individual suffering, but also impacts the wellbeing of their friends, family and support systems. Mental health also has a huge impact on the workplace, impacting the employee, the employees surrounding them and the overall business performance.
What is a mentally healthy workplace?
A mentally healthy workplace is one which supports those with mental health, helps prevent mental health disorders developing, as well as boosts awareness and reduces stigma around mental health.
Mentally healthy workplaces consist of the following key elements:
Mentally healthy workplaces will not only be able to help those suffering with mental health difficulties recover, they can also help protect their employees from developing mental health disorders and enjoy improved wellbeing.
Others benefits of a mentally healthy workplace to the organisation include:
Creating a mentally healthy workplace is everyone’s responsibility and everybody has a crucial role to play. However, dependent on your role in the organisation, you can focus on different aspects of creating a mentally healthy workplace. Therefore, we have created 3 different ‘5 Top Tips’ sections on how to create a mentally healthy workplace dependent on your role – organisational leader/business owner, manager/supervisor/leader, employee.
i.Creating a return to work plan
ii.Adapting the employee’s work hours to accommodate appointments relating to their mental health
iii.If they give you permission, see if you can collaborate with their health professional to make sure their working arrangements suit their needs
iv.Reduce workload to reduce work stress
Regardless of your role in your organisation, we can all make a vital contribution to creating a mentally healthy workplace. So why not start my trying one of these top tips this Mental Health Month, and see what a difference you can make to the workplace you are a part of, and the people within it.
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During these interactive workshops, participants will gain insight into the prevalence of mental health concerns and gain practical skills to confidently manage situations involving mental health risk within the workplace