World Mental Health Day 2017

Tuesday 10th October sees the return of World Mental Health Day, with a focus on mental health in the workplace this year.

You should take this day as a time to reflect on your workplace environment and how conscious you are of the mental health of the people you work with, or if you’re an employer, what you’re doing to look after the mental wellbeing of your employees.

If you’re not sure what you can do to help, here are a few tips:

As an employer

  • According to the mental health charity Mind, more than 1 in 5 employees agreed they had called in sick to avoid work when asked how workplace stress had affected them. This shows how difficult most employees see talking about mental health while at work. Make sure it’s widely known that your company is open to speaking about any health issues, and offer the opportunity to chat regularly.
  • An easier way for staff to be open about mental health issues at work could be through a staff survey. They’re an extremely effective way of getting the answers you need and people are more likely to be honest if they remain anonymous. If stress, anxiety, depression or something else comes up, it’s an alarm that you need to improve certain areas in the workplace.
  • There are courses online that you can invest in to train managers how to look out for mental health issues by picking up the signs. The charity Mind also run courses in London for anyone who would like a better understanding of mental health conditions.
  • As an employer, it’s crucial you are fair and clear when it comes to roles, responsibilities and workloads of individuals. Employees are more likely to be happy if they know what their job is, how to get it done, and they’re given a reasonable amount of time to get things done in.
  • According to Sue Baker writing for The Guardian, “When employees feel their work is meaningful and they are valued and supported, they tend to have higher wellbeing levels.” Sue goes on to say that employers should promote wellbeing for all staff, tackle and work-related mental health problems and support staff who are suffering from mental health problems.

As an employee

  • The most important thing you can do is look after yourself. It’s up to you to have a healthy diet, do regular exercise and get plenty of sleep. However, if you find that work is preventing this, for example; you aren’t given ample time at lunch for a break, you’re expected to work outrageous hours meaning you have no time to cook let alone exercise, then you need to have that discussion with management, remember that employers are legally obliged to help you.
  • You can help yourself at work by building positive relationships with your boss and fellow employees. This will come in helpful when you need to talk about managing your workload, or discussing problems you might be having at home that are impacting on your work.
  • Set boundaries at work so that it doesn’t take over your life. Make sure you prevent having to look at emails from home, complete work in normal working hours and take your allocated holiday allowance. If you find it difficult to get all of your work done, learn to say no to impossible time frames and ask if some of your work load can be distributed elsewhere.

 If you’d like to actively look after your employee’s mental wellbeing, take advantage of General & Medical’s 24/7 Health & Wellbeing support service by taking out a corporate health insurance policy with us today.

For more information, download our Corporate Health Insurance Brochure by clicking here, or call us today on 0800 980 4601.


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