Public awareness regarding mental health has been greatly increasing over the past few years, and is an important first step. But taking action is even more imperative. Here are five things employers can do to support employees with mental health concerns.
Listen to employees and encourage communication
People often go out of their way to mask problems. Give employees a number of ways to communicate their issues, whether personal or work-related. Knowing they can bring a concern to management can be a great relief of stress and anxiety, and keep smaller issues from escalating.
Don’t tolerate toxicity
Examine your workplace culture with a critical eye. Make sure your code of conduct policy is clear on what is and isn’t acceptable language and behaviour. Eliminating bullying and/or harassment is essential for a healthy work environment. It’s also a legal obligation.
Set a good example
People look up to management and model their actions after what they see as acceptable practices. If you’re taking care of yourself, your team is better equipped to take care of themselves. Take some “me” time. Don’t skip lunch. Or work 12-hour days.
Promote healthy habits and activities
Side effects and by-products of anxiety and depression include a lack of energy and fatigue. Eating nutritious food and getting more physically active can improve a person’s mental and physical health. Start a walking group. Or a Meatless Monday lunch.
Make the voluntary Standard your organization’s duty
The Psychological Health and Safety Standard (PHSS) is a voluntary program to promote and accommodate psychological health in the workplace. However, implementing the Standard should be a requirement for any organization that cares about the well-being of its employees.
Acclaim Ability Management works with employers to calculate the direct and indirect costs of mental health-related factors, and provide actionable recommendations to develop a strategy that supports the Standard.