Promote workplace mental wellbeing

Mental well-being is one of key factors that are necessary for good functioning both at work and in other areas of life. The workplace offers both positive and negative challenges for the mental well-being of the employee and employer alike. Organization and the nature of the tasks or work, and provided and received support are key elements in forming the mental well-being of all at the workplace. These factors are becoming more and more evident as the main health risk factor associated with work is the psycho-social work environment.

Mental illness can affect anyone, of any age, race, gender and background. However, with support most people can and do recover. Achieving and maintaining good mental health and wellbeing is important for everyone.

If you, or a work colleague, are concerned that you or a colleague could be suffering with stress, anxiety or depression amongst other mental health problems, you will notice some key symptoms. Sleep problems, fatigue, irritability and constant panic and worry are just some of them. We suggest few steps which you can follow and reach out to the one who need help and assistance.

  • Keeping in touch
    Regular, simple, informal conversations help build a sense of belonging which has been shown to promote wellbeing.
    –  find the time to ask about the weekend
    – have a chat about what you watched last night
    – ask how the holiday went
    – ask how things are going
    Checking in regularly with your colleagues and team members also means that you are more likely to notice when things are different or their behaviour changes. It can make the person you’re talking to more open to sharing information with you, and make a ‘difficult’ conversation easier because you’ve already shown that you’re interested and care.
  • Having the conversation
    If you notice a change in a colleague or team member’s behaviour or performance ask yourself if it might be due to an underlying personal or mental health issue and if you think this is a possibility then why not have a conversation and ask how the person is going? Keep these handy pointers in mind:
    – choose a time and a place that suits you both – somewhere private when you both have time to talk
    – talk about the changes you’ve noticed and ask if they want to talk about anything
    – encourage them to talk, but accept that they might not want to right now
    – Listen and show that you’re listening – don’t jump in with a solution
    – find out if they’re ready to look for help and if you can help them do that
    – check in after a few days and see how they’re going

If things get really bad, seek support. Your workplace may provides access to free counselling to employees as part of Employee assistance program. You can also reach out to General Physician who can provide accurate diagnosis and if needed referral to counsellor/psychologist/Psychiatrist.

Written by Rimpa Sarkar

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