Millions of people around the world suffer from some form of mental illness during their lives. Common forms of mental ill health are depression and anxiety, which often combine to make daily life extremely difficult for many people with these conditions. Mental health problems can affect any person, regardless of their background or level of education. While there was a stigma associated with these forms of illness in the past, thankfully, today, they are more widely recognized, understood, and discussed without judgment.
When people experience mental health problems during their working careers, it can lead to the need to take time off work to rest and recover. In severe circumstances, this can lead to extended periods of absence or even the need to retire early from work on the grounds of poor health. All employers should strive to create a workplace that promotes good mental health and is a pleasant and enjoyable environment to build a career. In this article, three ways in which employers can take action to improve the mental health of their employees will be explored.
Roll out health rewards programs
Lifelong good mental health can be achieved by combining a range of factors into a person’s daily routines. A healthy diet should be consumed along with sufficient rest every night and regular forms of exercise that keep the mind and body fit. One way employers can encourage their staff to make healthier life choices that will help them to stay well is by rolling out a health rewards program. This typically takes the form of a benefits card that can be used to purchase healthy food items and pay for health and dental care, amongst other uses. You can learn more about this type of scheme for employers here. This type of benefits card can form an integral part of a wider corporate health scheme that aims to promote both improved physical and mental health in the staff members.
Add a relaxation room
In recent years, there has been a growing trend of employers providing relaxation rooms for their staff in the working environment. Put simply, these are spaces where staff can go to spend a short amount of time unwinding, reflecting, or simply taking a break from their heavy workloads to come back to their desks refreshed and reinvigorated. Relaxation rooms may be effective in helping to combat burnout in the workplace, which can lead to time lost due to mental exhaustion and fatigue.
Create a culture of inclusivity
As a final key point, it is important for all organizations to create a culture of openness and inclusivity in the workplace. This working culture should recognize that people face difficulties with their mental health and that the topic can be talked about openly and without judgment. Staff members should be encouraged to share experiences with each other of when they struggled with their mental health and how they sought to overcome these problems. By doing this, the subject of mental health is no longer regarded as “taboo”, and people who are experiencing ongoing mental health difficulties feel supported by the wider workforce and can talk openly about the problems they are facing.