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3 min read

Mental Health in the Workplace

Mental health in the workplace - why does it matter? Almost all of us will experience some form of poor mental health in our lifetimes, yet the British Medical Association (BMA) has found that 9 out of 10 who experience mental health problems say they face stigma and discrimination as a result.

Whilst the conversation around mental health has made leaps and bounds in recent years, the topic of mental health in the workplace is still limited in its scope. Many fear that sharing their mental health concerns with their employer will negatively affect them in a work environment where performance and competition are greatly valued.

 

With work representing such a massive chunk of our lives, it has never been more critical to talk about the importance of mental health in the workplace and attempt to dismantle the stigma surrounding it.

mental health blog graphics

Taking Care of Yourself

Making your well-being a priority in the workplace has never been so important at a time when the boundaries between work and home have become increasingly blurred. Mental health charity Mind has reported that as many as one in six workers experience mental health problems, with anxiety and depression being the most commonly diagnosed across the board. 

Recognising work-related risk factors to your mental health will potentially avoid poor spouts of mental health and maintain healthy work habits. 

Some of these risk factors may include:

  • lack of support
  • lack of agency
  • poor work-life balance 

All of these factors ultimately result in burnout, with 46% of UK workers feeling ‘more prone to stress’ than in comparison to the year before. 

worklife balance blog visual (1)

Maintaining a Good Work-Life Balance

It has never been more important to set clear boundaries between work and personal life. Creating these habits encourages a healthier relationship with our work whilst prioritising our mental health. 

Some ways of maintaining a good work-life balance include:
  • Reclaim back your lunch break and take it outside of the workplace - take a walk, try somewhere new for lunch or meet with a friend
  • Establish clear boundaries between work and home. If working from home makes this challenging, you might establish boundaries by confining your workspace to a designated room.
  • Use your time outside of work to do something that benefits you - read a new book, learn a new skill or adopt a new hobby
  • Ask for help - Take the chance to speak with your manager to develop a strategy for dealing with workplace stress and to settle any unrealistic expectations of goals so that other team members may help minimise your workload.

wellbeing mental health blog graphic

Promoting Positive Self-Wellbeing at Work

There is an abundance of ways to support your mental health at work - what matters is prioritising ways of managing your well-being that works for you. 

  • Connect with people in your team - talk instead of sending an email, engage in conversations with your colleagues and take the time to listen genuinely
  • Exercise - regular exercise is associated with lower levels of anxiety and depression in adults, so why not consider taking the stairs instead of the lift or walking to walk and taking a walk during your break?
  • Learn - taking an active interest in further expanding your knowledge and skills has been linked to improving self-esteem and encourages social interaction
  • Find mindful moments wherever you can - whether it be walking to your desk, making a coffee or eating a mid-moment snack; practising mindfulness in these everyday tasks is incredibly important in learning how to slow down and find meaningfulness even in the smallest of moments

mental health workplace blog graphic

Taking Care of Your Team

Poor mental health in the workplace doesn’t just affect individuals; it also disrupts teamwork and breaks down communication between colleagues. This, in turn, impacts productivity team-wide, meaning it is in the best interest of employers to prioritise positive mental well-being within the workplace. 

  • Understand the risk factors to your team’s mental health - in doing so, you can start to create a strategy that prioritises implementing positive mental well-being habits
  • Making the team aware of the tools and support that are accessible to them 
  • Encouraging positive mental health, for example, arranging mental health awareness training, workshops or appointing mental health 'champions' who staff can talk to will lead to a workplace environment that fosters productive conversations about mental health and wellbeing 

Of course, each industry has individual demands and with it, its own specific workplace stress. Studies have shown that health and social care is the most stressful industry to work in, whilst workload has unsurprisingly been shown to be the leading cause of workplace stress more generally. Digital marketing specifically has its own array of workplace stresses - including anxieties surrounding the performance of campaigns and maintaining the ,often high, expectations of clients. By identifying the factors that contribute to workplace stress, we can begin to recognise when stress begins to arise and ensure we have the facilities to mediate it.

The stigma of mental health in the workplace and its detrimental impacts can be dismantled by supporting positive mental health in the workplace and educating your team on how to identify situations that may threaten their mental well-being. One of the most important things you can do for yourself is prioritise your emotional well-being. And, with work playing a larger role in our lives than ever before, employers should place a greater emphasis on prioritising their team's mental health. Does your workplace have any industry-related stress factors? What do you think you could do to help mediate some of the symptoms of poor mental wellbeing in your workplace?


 

 

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