With extensive pressure from the external environment, cut-throat competition, and the crippling global economy, work often feels like a never-ending sprint. In such trying times, it’s crucial to remind ourselves that our and our colleagues’/subordinates’ mental health matters.
We’re here to talk about how you, a responsible colleague, can raise awareness for mental health practices at your workplace, making it a supportive and nurturing environment for all.
Encouraging open communication about mental health
As a responsible colleague or employer, it should be part of your job to ensure that your workers feel safe discussing topics like burnout, stress, fatigue, and excessive workload at the workplace.
It is essential to establish safe havens where employees can discuss work-related issues as a means of catharsis, which can enable them to reach out to others who can either guide them in the right direction or help them with their mental health struggles.
Implement regular check-ins
Regular mental health check-ins should become a natural part of your workplace culture. These moments offer individuals the chance to express their feelings, both positive and challenging. It’s a moment to ask, “How are you really doing?” and provide a listening ear, showing your colleagues that their well-being matters.
Moreover, the culture at your workplace should be designed/changed in a manner that makes your employees feel safe when reaching out to other people about their mental health.
Encourage mindful communication practices
Open, honest, and non-judgmental communication is the cornerstone of mental health support. Encourage employees to actively listen to each other, offer empathy, and provide constructive feedback. Ensure that no one feels isolated or unheard, fostering an atmosphere of mutual respect and support.
Invite professionals for a talk
Bringing in mental health professionals can be a game-changer for your workplace. They can address common concerns, provide expert guidance, and destigmatize seeking help. Mental health talk by professionals don’t just scratch the surface; they delve into the intricacies of managing stress and anxiety and maintaining a healthy work-life balance.
Such events can also make your employees feel valued by having a colleague/employer who cares enough about their mental health.
Training in stress management & reduction
Offering workshops in stress management and resilience equips your team with practical tools to navigate the pressures of the modern workplace. These sessions should provide actionable strategies for dealing with stress, setting boundaries, and enhancing emotional well-being.
Stress-reduction activities like meditation sessions, yoga classes, or mindfulness workshops are not just trends; they are practical tools for promoting mental well-being. Getting a pleasant, slow-paced break from the regular 9-5 grind can help your employees feel refreshed and less stressed.
However, if your employees are not into slow-paced stress busters, you can also consider hosting sporting events for them to let their pent-up stress come out in their athletic streak.
You can take one step ahead in this cultural shift by putting up mental health posters on your office’s bulletin board frequently. Consider sharing mental health-related world updates, figures, classes/strategies that can help establish mental health, doctor advice, and anything that can help others in this matter. These posters can also feature inspirational quotes, tips for stress reduction, or resources for seeking help.
Place them strategically in high-traffic areas to serve as constant reminders that mental health is a priority in your workplace. You don’t have to stress over designing them, and let PosterMyWall do the work for you simply by selecting health poster templates and personalizing them.
Encourage breaks & time off
Make it abundantly clear that taking breaks and using vacation time is not just allowed but actively encouraged. Overworking can lead to burnout, reduced productivity, and a decline in mental health. Promote a healthy work-life balance, where breaks and vacations are seen as essential for rejuvenation.
Foster a supportive entertainment
Creating a supportive environment means making resources readily available. Ensure that all employees are aware of your Employee Assistance Program (EAP) and how to access it. Promote mental health support hotlines and other mental health resources that can offer immediate help when needed.
Flexible work arrangements
Consider offering flexible work arrangements, where employees can adjust their schedules or work remotely when needed. Offering a flexible or hybrid work system can help employees overcome feelings of burnout. It can put them in a better position to manage a healthy work-life balance, which is often the cause of poor mental health in employees.
Creating a mentally healthy workplace is about going beyond the surface and integrating these practices into your daily routine. As an employer or a colleague, you should be mindful of your words and actions and try to create a work environment that values and is open to mental health discussions and has relevant resources at hand to help those in need. It is essential to see your human assets as people and family and care for their well-being to develop a well-knit, healthy, strong workforce. Take care!
Written by: Raahim Jamshed