Promoting mental wellness in the workplace is on the rise and this year is no exception.
Although wellness is a great way to make sure the physical wellness of our employees is being looked after. The current debate centers around the case of, are we doing enough to look after the physiological side of things? or, are we at a tipping point when it comes to mental illness?
With one-third of us being unhappy about the amount of time we spend at work and almost two-thirds having experienced a negative effect on our personal lives including poor relationships and poor home life.
It is no surprise that stress-related illness is the number one cause of employee absences in the workplace with 40% of the time the typical worker takes off each year is due to mental health-related issues.
Many industries and sectors are currently being affected by these issues. But there is a higher concern for employees that work in high-pressure environments like call centers, construction, and professional/ health services.
These simply are issues that cannot be ignored. It’s easy for companies to preach about mental illness but they need to start putting what they preach into practice.
“The Healthy Ireland framework reported that the economic cost of mental health problems in Ireland is €11bn per year, much of which is related to loss of productivity.”
So what is it that employers are doing to help address these issues?
By incorporating and highlighting the importance of mental illness into a companies culture can help begin to normalize the situation.
Letting your employees know that it’s ok not to be ok minimizes the stigma around mental health and makes them aware that your company is open to talking about things.
It’s easy for companies to say that they want to make things better for their employees and to leave it at that, but there needs to be access to programmes that employees can take advantage of without it looking like they are weak or feeling that their position is threatened because they want to take part in such programmes.
The stigma needs to be removed and only you can do that for your employees.
Suicide is the most common cause of death for men aged 20-49 years in England and Wales – Mental Health Foundation
Looking to find out more about how you can create awareness about mental health in your workplace? We have put together a list of resources for further reading:
Mental Health & Wellbeing A Line Managers Guide – IBEC
How To Support Mental Health At Work – MentalHealth.org
Work-Related Stress: A Guide for Employers – Health and Safety Authority