For the month of May, we are putting in the spotlight two key areas relating to our Hazard of the Month, Mental Health. These key areas are Mental Health Awareness and Stress Awareness.
Mental Health Awareness
This month saw Mental Health Awareness Week take place on 10th-16th May. Run by the Mental Health Foundation, it is an event intended to encourage the UK to consider and discuss mental health and how to look after their wellbeing.
Despite more conversations being had about mental health, it can still be seen as a taboo subject, especially in the workplace. However, this is one of the places it can have the most effect: 17.9 million working days were lost in 2020 due to the 828,000 workers suffering from work-related stress, depression or anxiety (new or longstanding).
Creating a dialogue whereby workers can disclose mental health conditions not only makes it a more comfortable environment and encourages solid working relationships but also assists in ensuring you are complying with equality and discrimination laws. It is an essential factor in understanding any adjustments that could be made to accommodate such cases. Work-related stress can aggravate existing mental health issues making them more difficult to control, contributing to absenteeism or negative impacts on workplace performance so it is in everyone’s benefits to make sure these issues are tackled together.
Despite best intents, it can be hard to strike up these conversations naturally or know the best ways to support employees. It can also sometimes be difficult to spot in yourself if you are suffering from poor mental health until you know the signs and symptoms as well as practical actions to take to improve your wellbeing.
If you would like to learn all of this information in an accessible and easy to understand format, WA Management’s Mental Health Awareness Online Training course is recommended for all employees, including managers, to help identify and manage mental health and mental illness!
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) defines stress as ‘the adverse reaction people have to excessive pressures or other types of demand placed on them’. Employees feel stress when they can’t cope with pressures and other issues.
There are six main factors that can cause stress in the workplace:
- Overloading demands of the job.
- Change has been managed ineffectively.
- A lack of control over work.
- Insufficient awareness of what their job role is.
- Failure to build work relationships.
- A lack of support from managers and colleagues.
The earlier a problem is tackled the less impact it will have. If you think that an employee is having problems, encourage them to talk to someone, whether it’s their line manager, trade union representative, GP or their occupational health team.
If you or one of your employees is struggling with work-related stress, WA Management’s Stress Awareness online training course will help you learn more about the causes and symptoms of stress as well as stress-busting techniques to help manage these!
For this month only, you can get an exclusive 10% off these two e-learning courses by using the code ‘mentalhealth10’ during checkout! Don’t miss out on accessing the truly valuable guidance these courses offer to support mental health.