Mental Health and Well-being in the Workplace

Mental Health

Fortunately,the stigma around mental health problems isn’t as strong as it once was, and things are certainly improving, with mental health and well-being issues being increasingly discussed in the public arena. However, many people still remain uncomfortable talking about mental health and problems they may be suffering from are often hidden because of feelings of shame or guilt, which can stop them getting help and weigh them down for a long time.

Mental health problems have a wide range of effects; it could be as simple has having a set back and struggling to shrug of how that makes you feel, or it can run much deeper and be part of your everyday life which can, as we know, lead to serious long-term conditions.

The vast majority of people who suffer mental health problems can recover, or at the very least learn to live with them, especially if they get help early on. There are a wide scope of diagnoses that clinicians use to classify symptoms into groups.

A few common mental health issues are:

  • stress (whilst not classed as a medical condition, it can still have a serious impact on well-being and is the cause of many lost work hours in the Western world)
  • depression
  • anxiety

Less common conditions include:

  • bipolar disorder
  • schizophrenia

As an employer you have a ‘duty of care’ to your employees. This means not only that they are physically safe; working environment, equipment and protected from discrimination, but also that their mental well-being is considered. Also, a mental health issue can be considered a disability under the law and employers must be vigilant not to discriminate against an employee because of their disability.

Understanding the issues around mental health can help employer’s nurture greater feelings of well-beingin the workplace. Feeling healthy, happy, and prosperous are synonymous with well-being and  good mental health, high life satisfaction, a sense of meaning or purpose, and the ability to manage stress. Promoting well-being in the workplace goes hand in hand with addressing mental health issues and the effect on quality of life and productivity should not be underestimated.

In order to get better knowledge, recognise the issues and ensure as an employer you are aware of and can help employees who are suffering with mental health issues and nurture feelings of well-being, it is advisable to get your line managers trained. They have day to day contact with the workforce and are best placed to talk to any employee who needs help. AMental Health and Well-being in the Workplace training course, like those provided by Centaur Training will help line managers become more aware of mental health.

This course covers a number of areas including:

  • Recognising possible signs and symptoms of a person that has mental ill-health or is suffering with stress
  • Understanding mental health and its stigma
  • Using a Mental Health Plan to help those in crisis or need
  • Finding external professional help and guidance
  • The law in relation to mental health and the workplace
  • Best practice when helping someone to stay in work or return to work
  • Understanding of more complex mental health conditions
  • Promoting well-being in the workplace and how you can become an Ambassador for Mental Health and Well-being
  • Information on self-care to aid prevention to help others and yourself

This is a two-day course and is FAIB (First Aid Industry Body) accredited.

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By Chris Evans

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