11 Sep 2017
If you haven't already heard, the North East Social Investment Fund recently invested £150k into Be, the new wellbeing centre set up by Tyneside & Northumberland Mind. We were feeling so inspired we asked Emily Pearson, Head of Workplace Wellbeing, for her top tips for creating a 'mentally healthy' workplace.
#1 Talk about mental health
The biggest cause of stigma is that we just don’t talk about mental health. It’s the elephant in the room! The more we talk positively about mental health problems and conditions, the less stigma and fear there is in a workplace. We all have mental health just like we all have physical health. Some days it’s good, some days... not so good.
Some of us have mental health problems and some mental health conditions, but nevertheless we are all just human. You can build your confidence in talking positively about mental health by booking onto training or reading trusted materials. We provide training courses at Be, and there are lots of free resources on the Mind website.
#2 Get to know your staff
Knowing your staff’s individual working styles and personalities will help you to not only connect with them, but also to be able to recognise any changes in them which could otherwise be overlooked. This will aid you in detecting even anyone that may need support or signposting, even earlier.
#3 Make sure you know how to support an employee presenting with a mental health problem
There is that fear again! Most managers have never had any form of mental health awareness training, let alone training on how to support an employee with a mental health problem. At Be. we provide an Accredited one day 'Managing Mental Health in the Workplace for Managers' course.
This course gives you the knowledge, skills and tools to appropriately and effectively support an employee presenting with a mental health problem. It covers everything from proactively reducing triggers for stress in the workplace, to spotting signs and symptoms and how to have early conversations around any concerns you may have.
#4 Be an inspiring role model
As a leader or manager people will be inspired by the good things you do at work. You can be a role model to staff and inspire them to look after their own mental health. We all know that the better we look after our physical health the less chance there is of us becoming unwell. Our mental health is the same. By showing your staff that you look after your own wellbeing at work it will encourage them to do the same.
Create a quiet space in the environment where you and your staff can go to get away from the demands of the desk, and use it. Start up or join a walking group at lunch time, have walking meetings and get away from the board room.
#5 Show that you care about them
In the words of Richard Branson “look after your staff and they will look after your customers”. If your staff are happy at work, then they will be productive, motivated and inspired to do good things for business, going above and beyond what is expected of them. Celebrate their achievements no matter how small, instead of getting stuck on targets being met. Cultivate a supportive team who care for each other, helping the team to be resilient.
Be real. Show your team that you are genuine in your approach to creating a happy, healthier workforce.
For more details on workplace wellbeing, contact Emily on Emily.firstname.lastname@example.org or 0191 6913497.