How to help your team’s mental health
In today’s fast-paced society, it’s no wonder that we’ve got a mental health pandemic on our hands. Countries around the world are reporting that problems are on the rise, and in Ireland, we have one of the highest rates of mental health issues in Europe, costing the economy over €8.2 billion a year. With work a major part of our lives, it’s no wonder that so many of people’s issues start here. So, we’re going to take a look at some ways to make your workplace a more mental health-friendly environment so that everyone can thrive – even when things get a bit stressful.
INTRODUCTION TO MENTAL HEALTH
Mental health is something we all have. Good mental health is when we’re feeling happy, purposeful, and have the energy to do all the things we want to do. It also means that when things get testing, we’re able to deal with them. Then, there’s poor mental health, which is when we feel down or stressed. Everyone is likely to feel these kinds of emotions from time to time, but it’s then you’re feeling down for prolonged periods that there’s a problem.
NOTICING A MENTAL HEALTH PROBLEM
Mental health affects everyone differently, but there are a few tell-tell signs that you should look out for, especially when it comes to the wellbeing of your team. As a rule, you should encourage someone to get help from a doctor when they have feelings that are:
- Stopping them from getting on with things
- Having moods that impact the rest of the team
- Long-term mood swings
- Causing people to consider suicide
People might also isolate themselves, look tired and drained, stop doing activities they usually enjoy, and take more time off work.
HOW TO HELP MENTAL HEALTH ISSUES AT WORK
It’s really important that as a company, you do all you can to support your employees’ mental health. It’s small things that can make a big difference, so here are some tips:
TALK ABOUT FEELINGS
It’s important that you’re open and team members can come and talk to you withut being judged. This way, you can support people right from the start before things get bad.
KEEP PEOPLE ACTIVE
Encouraging people to get out the office can really help. Nothing beats a change of scenery, especially if you’re stuck in front of a computer all day!
ENCOURAGE HEALTHY EATING
Make sure your team has plenty of time for lunch, and supply healthy food for the office to share like fruit. If people are having take outs and eating at their desks, their mental health is going to suffer.
HAVE PLENTY OF BREAKS
Having too much on is not a good thing. You need to encourage your team to take breaks so they can reach their full potential. You could also encourage people to take up drawing or something they can do from their office to relax!
STOP MAKING OVERTIME A GOOD THING
In today’s society, we’ve got a bit of a warped view on hard work. The more hours you do, the more hardworking you are, which isn’t very healthy. Instead, encourage your team to work their set hours and if things take longer, think about more realistic deadlines in future.
ALLOW PEOPLE TO ASK FOR HELP
If people aren’t managing their workload, don’t put them down. You don’t know what might be going on at home. Allow people to ask for help so that they’re not overloaded.