The importance of promoting mental health in the workplace.
Dr Alister Baird
19 Jan 2023
One way to promote mental health in the workplace is to create a culture of openness and support. This can be achieved by encouraging employees to talk openly about their mental health and providing resources and support for those who are struggling. This can include Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs), which provide confidential counselling and support services, as well as mental health days and flexible work arrangements. Employers should also provide mental health tools to their staff such as mental health apps, online resources, and self-help guides to help employees manage their mental health.
Another way to support mental health in the workplace is through training and education. This can include providing training for managers on how to recognize and support employees with mental health issues, as well as providing mental health education for all employees. This can help to reduce the stigma surrounding mental health and increase understanding and support for those who are struggling (Mental Health First Aid England, 2017).
In addition, it is essential for employers to create a safe and healthy work environment. This can include measures such as reducing workplace stress, promoting work-life balance, and providing access to healthy food and physical activity options. Studies have shown that these types of interventions can lead to improved mental health and well-being among employees (Van Gordon et al., 2014).
It is also important for employers to address the issue of discrimination and harassment in the workplace, as these can have a significant negative impact on mental health. This can include implementing policies and procedures for addressing and preventing discrimination and harassment, as well as providing training for employees on these issues (National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, 2016).
In conclusion, mental health is a critical aspect of overall well-being and plays a vital role in determining an individual's ability to function in the workplace. It is important for employers to recognize the significance of mental health in the workplace and take steps to promote and support it. This can include creating a culture of openness and support, providing training and education, creating a safe and healthy work environment, providing mental health tools to staff and addressing discrimination and harassment in the workplace. By promoting mental health in the workplace, employers can not only improve the well-being of their employees but also benefit from increased productivity and reduced healthcare costs.
1. Van Gordon, W., Shonin, E., Zangeneh, M. et al. Work-Related Mental Health and Job Performance: Can Mindfulness Help?. Int J Ment Health Addiction 12, 129–137 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11469-014-9484-3
2. van der Klink, J. J., Blonk, R. W., Schene, A. H., & van Dijk, F. J. (2001). The benefits of interventions for work-related stress. The American Journal of Public Health, 91(3), 270-276.
3. Mental Health First Aid England (2017) Mental Health First Aid in the Workplace. London, UK: Mental Health First Aid England.
4. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (2016). Workplace violence. Centers for Disease