As part of Mental Health Week we are publishing an article a day on the subject of Mental Health and Wellbeing, starting with a look at how companies can provide employees with Mental Health support on the day no one loves.
It’s a known phenomenon, there are even songs about it, no one likes Mondays. Maybe that’s why half the applications for new jobs arrive on this much maligned day. But there’s a difference between regretting the end of a good weekend, being faced with the issues you’d put off on Friday, and with real mental health concerns. Often the latter gets confused with the former. So what can you do about it? The truth is, it’s pretty much impossible to do as a standalone thing on one day a week. Encouraging good employee mental health is something that has to happen as a core part of your people strategy, must have authenticity and should be a constantly reinforced behaviour across the whole business.
It’s also not just about dealing with problems when they arise, any more than physical health is only about going to the hospital. For physical health there’s the gym, good diet etc to keep us fit, for good mental health we need to have an environment that encourages Mental Fitness.
Evidence-based research has identified ten things that can help promote Mental Fitness:
As an employer then we need to encourage these things. We need to build them into our everyday conversation and team behaviours. Perhaps most of all we need to lead by example.
It’s not hard to see how we can build these areas into everyday conversation with our teams. Maybe create sub-teams with a monthly goal to come up with one way that they feel would improve everyone’s life – one of our clients calls this “Pay It Forward”. As you should be leading by example, why not make the first move yourself? And since it’s good to share and care, if there are people who have overcome mental health challenges, that may be a good starting point, providing they are prepared to discuss their journey to better health. Nobody should be trawling for sympathy, but sharing experience is invaluable.
Focus on some light-hearted activities to create a sense of fun and pleasure. It won’t solve every problem but may provide some much-needed distraction and may help to remind people why they’re with you. You could…
The most important thing you can do, though, is begin to put good Mental Health at the centre of your company culture. No one would consider running a company which was lax in health and safety and physical welfare, mental wellbeing should be just the same. Make it a priority.
If you want more ideas on how to make your workplace better for Mental Fitness maybe our consultants and training courses can help. We’d love to hear from you.
Contact us now on +44 (0)121 355 6026 or email email@example.com to learn more about our Mental Health courses to address your issues
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