Mental health is a subject that has been addressed more and more over the past few years. HR managers and employees approach the subject more honestly and openly, lessening the stigma. It is an area where its importance is now hugely recognised. The aim is to encourage a healthier workforce, both physically and mentally.
The recent impact of the Covid-19 pandemic has meant people’s lives have been disrupted. It has brought along job and financial insecurity. It’s affected the family dynamic with families being at home more. It’s also impacted the way that we work.
These changes have had a significant impact on employee wellbeing. Recent studies have shown that Covid-19 saw clinical anxiety increase by over 30% in Q1 of 2020. This was a direct result of the pandemic.
While employers are increasingly addressing mental health support in the workplace, there is still a way to go. Often employers offer a “one size fits all” approach to mental health support. In a dynamic workforce, this approach is no longer suitable.
Addressing Mental Health Support in the Workplace
Whilst mental health in the workplace has become more understood, often the support available from employers still has a ‘one size fits all’ approach and can be limited. This approach fails to support individual needs from employees.
Mental health can vary widely from person to person. People experience anxiety, stress and depression differently. People have different experiences or triggers, and their coping mechanisms can be vastly different. For this reason, the “one size fits all” approach is simply not good enough. It cannot provide employees with the support they need.
Another challenge facing mental health support in the workplace, is how support is offered. Often, mental health support is offered after an incident has already occurred. In reality, the support is needed before an incident even arises.
Providing employees with a platform to address their mental health concerns can help them get help earlier on. This support can boost employee wellbeing, but it also benefits their employers. An estimated 12% of sick days are the result of mental health.
Most workplaces are more openly addressing mental health support. However, it can still be challenging for employees experiencing difficulties to ask for help. It’s estimated that less than half of the people experiencing mental health issues seek support.
How Employers Can Support Mental Health in the Workplace
Employers must provide a breadth of support and resources that enables individuals to select what suits them and their needs. Support could be in the form of therapy, counselling or coaching as well as more holistic services such as meditation. Support can also be offered live, face to face as well as remotely or online.
The main thing that the solutions need to be is flexible. Letting employees have the choice to decide on what method of support they use, in whatever shape or form, will empower the employee and should ultimately lead to a more positive and long-term outcome.
What is the Future of Workplace Mental Health?
A positive of the pandemic is that it has highlighted the importance of mental health and wellness in the workplace. It has shown that solutions must be flexible and adaptable. By addressing the subject that ‘one size fits all’ doesn’t work, organisations are moving in the right direction.
Tailoring mental health support to the individual needs of an employee is easier than you might think. The hug platform can help you support your team by harnessing the power of granular data. A free, 15 minute demo can show you how. Please request your demo by clicking here today.