There have been many great strides made in mental health awareness in recent times, but there is still a lot of work to be done and business owners need to make employee mental health a priority so that they can look after their staff and provide a supportive workplace.
Mental Health Conditions
There are many different mental health issues that employees can experience and these can occur for many different reasons whether this is from their personal or professional life. Stress, anxiety, and depression are all highly common affecting as many as 1 in 4 people every year and these are health conditions that need to be handled delicately. While they do not create physical challenges like other health conditions, mental health can lead to low productivity and morale, absenteeism, and high staff turnover.
Benefits of Making Mental Health a Priority
This means that making mental health a priority is important not only in terms of looking after your staff but also from a business standpoint. The businesses that make mental health a priority and support employees often benefit from better productivity, a positive workplace atmosphere, better morale, less sick leave, lower staff turnover, and even avoid legal issues.
How to Support Staff
So, what steps can businesses take to support staff from a mental health standpoint? There are obvious steps that can be taken such as providing positive feedback, providing a comfortable and healthy workspace, team building events, flexible working, and career progression opportunities, but you also need to make it easy for staff to come forward when they are suffering from mental health issues. Things have improved but there is still a stigma attached which can stop people from coming forward, so you need to show your support and make it easy for staff to come forward and talk about these issues.
Accidents & Mental Health
It is also important to be aware that mental health issues in the workplace often arise following an accident or injury. National Accident Helpline, who deal with accident and medical negligence claims, found in their research that 72% of those who had been in an accident suffered from a mental health issue as a result with 63% of people being worried about returning to work. 57% of those injured even worried about losing their job altogether. Sometimes an injury will affect somebody’s ability to earn, but they should not be deterred from seeking compensation with employer’s liability insurance covering compensation costs.
Mental health needs to be a priority in the workplace not only so that staff can come into work each day feeling supported, but also from a business standpoint as mental health issues can lead to all kinds of costly issues. Progress has been made in terms of support and awareness, but there is still a long way to go yet.