World Mental Health Day 2023 takes place on the 10th of October and is celebrated annually. It is an international day that focuses on global mental health education, raising awareness regarding mental health issues, and advocacy against the stigmatisation of mental illness. The day provides the perfect opportunity for advocates of mental health to talk about their work and encourage people to shout about the cause.
The 2023 theme of this event is ‘Mental Health is a universal human right’, highlighting a range of mental health issues as well as barriers that affect individuals from being able to access mental health support. Through focusing on the importance of mental health and breaking down the negative attitudes and beliefs surrounding it, we can help create a society where everyone feels comfortable seeking help and support when they need it.
Mental Health in the Workplace
Almost 60% of the world’s population is in work. Work can play a huge role in your overall health and welfare. In addition to the financial benefits, your job can add meaning, structure, and purpose to your life. It can also provide you with a sense of identity, bolster your self-esteem, and offer an important social outlet. However, working in a negative environment can have the complete opposite effect and take a heavy toll on your emotional health. Common work-related challenges that can negatively impact your health can include, inflexible long hours or an ever-increasing workload, working remotely with no clear separation between work and personal time, as well as toxic workplaces that foster bullying, harassment, and abuse. Research shows 50% of employees have experienced at least one characteristic of burnout due to greater job demands and expectations, lack of social interaction, and a lack of boundaries between work and home life.
But, just as work can impact your mental health, so too, your mental health can affect your work, impacting your job performance and productivity. In fact, recent estimates suggest 12 billion working days are lost every year to depression and anxiety at a cost of $1 trillion per year in lost productivity, absenteeism, and staff turnover.
Preventing mental health conditions at work is about managing psychosocial risks in the workplace. WHO recommends employers do this by implementing organisational interventions that directly target working conditions and environments. Organisational interventions can include, for example, providing flexible working arrangements, or implementing frameworks to deal with violence or harassment at work. Protecting and promoting mental health at work is about strengthening capacities to recognise and act on mental health conditions at work, particularly those responsible for the supervision of others, such as managers.
Managing Your Mental Health this World Mental Health Day
Supporting your mental health at work involves creating a supportive environment that encourages open communication, work-life balance, and access to resources like counselling or stress management programs.
Here are some ways to support yourself in the workplace:
Take regular breaks
Taking regular breaks throughout the workday is essential for maintaining mental health and productivity. Short, frequent breaks can help refresh your mind, reduce stress, and prevent burnout. Whether it's a quick walk, a few minutes of deep breathing, or a simple stretch, these breaks provide moments of relaxation and can improve focus and creativity.
Open communication in the workplace is a crucial component of supporting mental health. It entails fostering an environment where employees feel comfortable sharing their thoughts, concerns, and challenges with their colleagues and superiors. Such dialogue not only promotes understanding but also helps in problem-solving and reducing feelings of isolation.
Prioritising tasks at work is an indispensable strategy for maintaining mental wellbeing and productivity. By carefully organising your workload and identifying essential tasks, you can reduce stress associated with feeling overwhelmed. It also allows you to allocate your time and energy efficiency, focusing on high-priority assignments first which makes you feel a sense of accomplishment.
World Mental Health Day 2023 serves as a global platform to raise awareness and provide valuable information on how to support and manage your own mental health. It empowers individuals to take proactive steps in seeking help, practicing self-care, and fostering a supportive environment for themselves and others.
Supporting Your Colleague this World Mental Health Day
Supporting your colleagues in the workplace is crucial as it not only enhances teamwork and productivity but also contributes to a healthier, more inclusive, and mentally nurturing work environment.
Here are some ways you can support your colleagues who may be suffering:
Be a Good Listener
Being a good listener in the workplace is a powerful way to support your colleagues. It involves giving your full attention when someone is sharing their thoughts, concerns, or challenges, without interrupting or passing judgement. By actively listening, you create a safe and supportive space for your colleagues to express themselves and feel heard and valued.
Check in regularly
Checking in regularly with your colleagues is a thoughtful way to support their mental health. It demonstrates genuine care and interest in their wellbeing, both personally and professionally. By consistently asking how they are doing, you create an environment where open communication is encouraged, making it easier for colleagues to share their thoughts and feelings.
Respecting boundaries in the workplace is a fundamental aspect of supporting your colleagues with their mental health. It entails recognising and honouring their personal space, privacy, and comfort zones. This practice involves refraining from prying into personal matters or pushing for information that your colleagues may not be ready to share.
World Mental Health Day 2023 serves as an opportunity to understand how to support someone you know may be struggling with their mental health. It provides valuable information on recognising signs of distress, offering empathetic non-judgemental support, and how to connect them with appropriate resources or professionals.
Supporting Your Employees as a Manager this World Mental Health Day
People want leaders who know them and are willing to support them. By leading the way in promoting understanding and support for your team members, you can create a work environment that fosters open communication and trust.
Here are ways managers can support their employees with their mental health:
Promoting work-life balance as a manager is essential for creating a healthy and sustainable work environment. Managers should emphasise the importance of maintaining a balance between work and personal life and encourage employees to set boundaries that protect their mental health. This includes respecting the right to disconnect after work hours and during vacations, as well as offering flexibility when needed.
Mental Health Support
Establishing clear expectations for mental health support as a manager is fundamental for creating mentally healthy workplaces. Leaders should emphasise the company's commitment to providing resources, such as access to counselling, mental health days, and a stigma-free environment where employees can freely discuss their mental health challenges.
Mental health training
Mental health training equips employees and managers with the knowledge and skills needed to recognise, understand, and address mental health challenges effectively. It can cover topics such as stress management, resilience building, and providing appropriate support.
This World Mental Health Day 2023 is a valuable occasion for managers to learn how to support their employees mental health effectively. This knowledge empowers managers to create a work environment that prioritises mental wellbeing, reduces stigma, and fosters open communication.
How Can Wellity Support You?
This World Mental Health Day 2023, we offer a range of training titles ready to support your teams and organisations around this significant awareness day. Understanding the fundamentals of mental health has never been more important in organisations. Our session ‘Mental Health – Becoming an A.C.E. Employee’ will explore the basis of mental health and crucially how to connect and support colleagues.
Gain insights into the range of mental health challenges that individuals may face.
Acquire effective strategies to establish meaningful connections with colleagues in terms of their mental wellbeing.
Learn how to foster an environment of open dialogue, active listening, and empathy.
Gain the knowledge and tools needed to empower oneself and others in addressing mental health concerns.
Develop practical skills to provide effective support to colleagues.
For any information on this session or others we offer, contact our team at firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.