It’s no secret that mental health has become an increasingly spoken about topic in recent years, but why is it so important to talk about? The stigma surrounding the term ‘mental health’ is something Rise is actively trying to break down – it’s time now to understand what mental health really is and why it’s so important to recognise the steps we can take in, and outside of the workplace to support individuals.
By definition, ‘mental health’ refers to a “person’s condition with regard to their psychological and emotional well-being.” Maintaining positive mental health, allows someone to manage everyday stressors, deal with pressure and reach their full potential, in, and outside of the workplace.
Below, we discuss a number of ways mental health can be protected in the workplace, and steps both employers and individuals can take to make sure they champion and happy and healthy work environment.
What do our clients do?
Post-pandemic many companies have been investing heavily into supporting staff wellbeing, and mental health is becoming a greater priority for many companies. Covid-19 had a large impact on the mental health amongst employees with people working from home, experiencing loneliness and missing out on the social interactions that would be shared within an office environment. However, when companies started to figure out how to bring workers back into the office, this also complicated how to approach employee mental health even further.
A previous article by CNCB states that “Offering employees the flexibility and tools to navigate their own recovery from Covid will definitely go a long way in helping employees protect their mental health as they head back to the office”.
We’re working with a lot of clients and candidates who want the flexibility to stay in working from home and to protect their autonomy and new daily On the other hand, we work alongside many businesses and individuals who wish to return to the workplace to aid the need for social interactions, so they can experience support from co-workers and to collaborate physically.
It is prudent that businesses understand that mental health is closely tied with stress and we’re seeing that our clients are putting steps in place to support their staff inside and outside of work.
Our clients mental health initiatives:
· Hybrid working – empowering individuals to be able to have the autonomy to work from home whilst also providing unity and promoting social interaction within an office space
· Flexible working / condensed work weeks / Sabbaticals and extended time off
· Mental health days – offering a day off for individuals to focus on their mental health
· After work groups / clubs and team building exercises
· Some companies provide water bottles to promote more water intake
· Cycle to work scheme to promote healthy lifestyle
· Gym memberships
· Employ a full member of staff to help with mental health and wellbeing at all times
· Walking lunches and walking meetings/1-2-1’s
So, what do we do here at Rise?
We often get asked from some of our clients, what we do here at RISE to end the stigma of mental health and how we promote a healthy wellbeing for our employees. We are very aware that work is a significant part of our lives, a place where we spend most of our time, therefore it’s imperative to support and promote a positive mindset for a functioning, productive and happy workforce. Here are a few ways in which Rise have approached mental health in the workplace.
A few months ago the company selected 12 members of staff from all seniorities to partake in a mental health training course. These individuals have become qualified Mental Health First Aiders (MHFA) in the workplace. By having trained and qualified MHFA’s, we now have monthly drop-ins allowing staff to speak openly and confidently about their issues, whilst knowing that the person listening is trained and wants to be there to support them.
Rise also offer access to specialist mental health webinars for their employees, where experts offer professional insight into mental health and often discuss how we can maintain a positive and healthy mindset, and how we can learn good habits to promote these.
Through our 'We Rise Together' project, we are currently working alongside Bristol Mind, raising money to support their efforts to tackle stigma surrounding mental health and contribute to keep their professional services running for those in the local area who need them. Within our workplace, this also offers a sense of comradery and team spirit between us, as we work together to organise and execute charity events.
Finally, we have a empowered environment where individuals can choose to work where best suits them, from home or in the very sociable office. Alongside promoting a healthy work-life balance for our employees, we also run a number of social and sporting events.
What can I do?
Starting a conversation about mental health doesn’t have to be difficult. There seems to be a significant shift happening amongst businesses, where employers are looking to be proactive in their approach to mental health, through facilitating a comfortable and open space for people to speak out. However, within society there is still a lot of work to be done to tackle the stigma, to give people the confidence to speak up and support them through any struggles.
We can all help to promote positive and healthy wellbeing through simply speaking about the topic; checking in on friends, family, colleagues; supporting mental health charities, such as Mind or Samaritans and simply being kind to those around you.
If you are struggling with your mental health then we encourage you to speak with somebody. A problem shared is a problem halved - let’s make sure that we all look after each other.