Mental Health Awareness Week 2019
Monday 13 May marks the start of Mental Health Awareness Week 2019. The week is hosted by the Mental Health Foundation each year, and the theme for 2019 is body image. Focusing on how we think and feel about our bodies.
Mental health affects how individuals think, feel and act. It includes our emotional, social and psychological well-being. Each year in the UK it is believed that one in four people will experience mental health issues, and poor mental health affects more people than cancer or heart disease.
Mental health can impact all aspects of people’s lives, including their work. Fear of discrimination often prevents employees making their employer aware of how they are feeling. As an employer, there are a number of ways to offer support within the workplace.
- Promoting well-being – this could involve inclusion in training or inductions, inviting speakers to the workplace, or utilising internal communications channels to raise awareness.
- Get senior leaders on board – encourage those in senior roles, including managers or team leaders to show your company’s commitment to mental health awareness. This could simply be encouraging employees to take their lunch break and work suitable hours. Promoting a healthy work/ life balance can really help.
- Create a positive work environment ‒ for example encouraging a culture of team work, implementing policies around bullying and harassment, introducing peer support or a buddy system or regular exercise and social events.
- Tackle the causes of mental health problems – identifying and tackling potential triggers within your workplace can help to encourage a better working environment. These triggers could include long working hours, working alone, unrealistic expectations or deadlines, unmanageable workloads or lack of managerial support.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and the mental health charity MIND offer advice and resources for employers. During Mental Health Awareness Week there are a number of ways you can get involved including fundraising and resources available to download. Find out more at mentalhealth.org.uk.
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Source: MIND Charity – How to promote wellbeing and tackle the causes of work-related mental health problems.