Do You See What I See?
Confronting mental health can be challenging to some. However, what is more confronting is this statistic. A staggering 1 in 5 Australians suffer from one kind of mental illness or another. Think of all the family and friends who are close you. Then divide by 5. That is how many of those close to you could be suffering from mental health challenges in one form or another.
Last week saw the annual World Mental Health Day on the 10th October. The ‘Do you see what I see’ campaign aims to reduce the stigma attached to mental illness. World Mental Health Day joins other successful programs already running across the globe including World Suicide Prevention Day and R U OK Day in a bid to combat the stigma of mental health issues.
We have come a long way, but there is still ground to be made.
Emphasis needs to be put on mental health in the workplace to ensure staff are in good health both physically, mentally and emotionally. Recruitment is a stressful industry. The demands are high, expectations are high, and timelines are tight. If not managed correctly, workplace-related stress can quickly stream roll out of control. Added to that, research out of the UK shows that workers in recruitment clock lower levels of activity in a day than the average worker – just 1 hour and 13 minutes per day.
We have a social responsibility to look after the well-being of our staff. So what steps can you take to create a positive, mental health-aware workplace? It is not as hard as you think – all it takes is a little bit of your time.
3 Steps to improve the mental health of your staff
- Flexible working conditions
Where possible, allow your staff flexible working conditions that suit their family and lifestyle. Leaving early to collect kids from school a day or two a week or a 9-day fortnight, These small allowances can go a long way to staff happiness and satisfaction levels.
- Coffee for a Day
What better way to touch base with your staff than to take them for a coffee once a month? No business talk, simply a catch up on their level of well-being. This may be easier with some staff than others – but it needn’t be a long, drawn out process. It can be as quick as checking in on their current mood, family, life outside of work, weekend sport scores… and their general well-being.
- Subsidised Exercise Programs
There is no better way to encourage staff to get active and healthy than to support them in their quest. By offering subsidised health and exercise programs to staff, you could be giving them the jumpstart they need. But why refine it to your local gym? Not everyone enjoys lifting weights or sweating it out in a spin class. You can always contribute a set amount to yoga classes, membership fees to their local footy team… You will have more success by offering tailored programs that your staff will actually take up.
Let’s take the steps together towards looking after the well-being of our staff and create a positive, mental health-aware environment where everyone feels welcome.
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