The World Health Organisation recognises the 10th of October as World Mental Health Day each year. This year’s slogan is “make mental health and well-being for all a global priority.”
The overall objective of this day is to raise awareness of mental health issues worldwide and to mobilise efforts in support of mental health. In the wake of the pandemic and its effect on many individuals’ mental health, most employers have recognised that workplace well-being needs to be a top priority. However, the stigma around mental health is still a critical challenge we need to overcome collectively. Organisations should actively promote and encourage the use of the support programmes offered to break down the stigma associated with them.
Company leaders should ingrain mental health awareness into induction and onboarding processes. Open communication guarantees that new starters are given information on all the mental health resources and support available at your organisation. It will show new joiners that you are a company that cares about its employees. Most importantly, embedding mental health into your operations from the start will embolden staff members to utilise the resources and support available to them.
Having a genuine well-being strategy is critical for employee engagement. It is no secret that when staff feel supported, they perform better; a healthy work environment will result in motivated and focused employees. If company leaders are truly committed to creating an effective well-being strategy, the impact on business performance will be substantial. Hosting a well-being workshop can boost morale and resilience. It is a simple way of showing employees that you care about their mental health, is an excellent opportunity for team building, and can increase retention rates.
Although employees are given information about assistance programmes and well-being resources throughout their induction process, they will likely forget what is available to them throughout their time at your organisation. To ensure this vital information remains top of mind, reiterate what is available through internal communications. Internal company newsletters are an excellent opportunity to get information out, send relevant blog posts, fact sheets, and FAQs and provide updates on new avenues of support as your organisation evolves.
Electing mental health champions at different levels throughout your organisation can help challenge mental health stigma. Having designated staff members who frequently speak on mental health will encourage other members to speak up when they need help or guidance on navigating resources. The impact of stigma can be consequential – having mental health champions can encourage people to reach out when they are most vulnerable.
It is essential to encourage employees to share their ideas on improving workplace well-being and creating a healthy work environment. All of these aspects and fresh perspectives will be central to building an authentic well-being strategy. If individuals feel their voice is heard and their opinions are valued, they are more likely to buy into your company’s well-being movement.
Effective internal communication can be a game-changer in galvanising your workforce and addressing mental health issues at work. A simple method of encouraging employee input could be feedback surveys or hosting focus groups. Intentional and continuous action will be a sure-fire way of building a productive, healthy workforce that is well cared for.