Improving Mental Health
We all have the potential to improve our mental health and this responsibility should be taken seriously because good mental health is associated with success and improvements in health, at home, in communities, in relationships, in learning and in the workplace.
One in four people in England experience mental health problems. When people are living and dealing with mental health problems they can and should simultaneously aim to have good mental health. Good mental health is not as simple as the absence of mental illness. All people, including those who experience mental health problems, have the potential to achieve good mental health.
Why encourage mental health and wellbeing at work?
Mental health affects a person’s ability to adopt healthy lifestyle choices. Initiatives that aim to improve health are more likely to fail if mental health and wellbeing has not been addressed.
There are many factors which influence our mental health and there are many individual skills that people can adopt to improve and protect their own mental health. Unfortunately these individual life skills are likely to fail if a person is placed in an environment that is not conducive to good wellbeing.
Many people spend the majority of their time at work and as such the workplace is one of the most important settings where mental health is influenced.
Work is very good for our mental health. It keeps our minds active and encourages us to interact with others. Conversely a workplace which is not responsive to the mental health needs of its employees can have a devastating effect. The negative impacts of lacking provision in the workplace for mental health are felt by employee and employer alike. Poor mental health is a leading cause of workplace absence and diminished productivity and costs British industries millions of pounds every year. A mentally healthy workforce is happier, healthier, motivated, ambitious and productive. A mentally healthy workplace is successful, wealthier, safer, stronger and more responsible.
Benefits to employers
- A reduction in sickness absence
- Reduced “presenteeism” (being paid and attending work but unable to work effectively and efficiently).
- A reduction in staff turnover
- A reduction in the number of disciplinary or grievance cases
- A reduction in work related stress or distress
- Increased productivity
- A reduction in conflict
- Better working relationships
Benefits to employees
- Improved wellbeing
- Improved health
- Increased ambition and feelings of success
- An increase in the extent to which employees feel able to support others
- Increased sense of belonging and pride about the organisation
- Increased sense of value and purpose
- Increased team identity and effectiveness
- Increased understanding of and commitment to organisational goals