Recent research has shown that the scale and impact of poor mental health in the workplace is increasing. Indeed, at least one in six workers is likely to be suffering from a mental health condition, such as depression or anxiety.
Whilst the prevalence of poor mental health in the workplace is increasingly apparent, it represents a challenging subject for many people.
‘Mental health is still considered a taboo subject,’ comments Gillian Roberts, Concorde Technology Group’s Mental Health Champion. ‘The initial step - asking for help - represents a real challenge for a lot of employees. The message we’re trying to emphasise is that help is available.’
Whilst seeking support represents the first point of call for anyone suffering from mental health issues, there are also a series of preventative steps that anyone can take to improve mental wellbeing at work...
There is certainly some provenance in the old adage, “healthy body, healthy mind.”
Aside from the obvious benefits of staying fit, regular physical activity has been linked to lower rates of depression and anxiety.
It needn’t be a gruelling marathon, however...
Try some basic stretches before leaving for work in the morning, or, rather than eating lunch at your desk, go for a walk. If feasible, try cycling to work. You’ll be getting fit, saving money, and having a positive impact on the environment.
Over time, regularly working into the small hours will take its toll on your concentration and productivity, and could affect your mental health.
The majority of roles within the workplace are deadline-driven, and working overtime is, at times, inevitable. However, try to make overtime the exception rather than the norm.
Work hard, but, more importantly, work smart.
A simple step is to create a daily list of your key tasks and responsibilities. Inevitably, there will be “curveballs” that you can’t predict, but setting goals and creating a clear structure to your day will assist you in managing stress levels.
Engage with your fellow employees
Whilst emails can and do promote efficiency, research has shown that engaging with colleagues promotes wellbeing in the workplace.
Before firing off an email, consider having a conversation - it’s a small step that could have a positive impact on your, and your colleagues’, mental wellbeing.
This is easier said than done - particularly at the end of a long, challenging day - but try to create boundaries between your work and private life.
For example, where possible, try to avoid working at home. If you must work at home, however, create a designated space, and stick to it.
...but don’t build walls!
Terrified that you’ll miss a deadline? Do you feel as if your work is spiralling out of control?
Don’t suffer in silence - help is available.
Have an honest and frank discussion about your anxieties with your line manager - they will work with you to find a solution.
No, really - it’s good to talk!
If you feel that you are struggling to cope with the day-to-day stresses of your role, speak to the member of staff responsible for mental health issues in the workplace. They will be able to provide you with resources and information to help you with your mental health issues.
‘Tackling mental health in the workplace is a key priority at Concorde,’ continues Gillian. ‘There are some simple steps that everyone can take to look after themselves. I can’t emphasise enough, however - if you’re struggling to cope, speak to someone.’
For more information on mental health resources and support available, contact Gillian Roberts, Concorde Technology Group HR Manager and Mental Health Champion.