Mental Health – Maintaining Focus
The statistics are concerning, not just for the pandemic but the predictions beyond it.
Over the past year we have seen organisations doing great things to support employee wellbeing during the tough times of the pandemic. But what happens next?
I recently facilitated a discussion amongst HR professionals on ‘Mental Health – maintaining a focus’. It was encouraging to hear that through working to increase understanding of mental health and ill health, organisations experienced an increased appetite amongst employees for talking about their mental health. This resulted in taking up offers of support, whether through conversations, or drawing on other resources made available.
Some great ideas
Organisations have implemented a range of interventions and within the forum there was lively discussion with participants being generous in sharing their ideas. These are collated here for wider sharing.
- Wellbeing surveys were carried out to gauge how employees were feeling. Some were anonymous to get a general measure, others gave people the option to give their details if they wanted any follow up.
- A variety of workshops had been offered to equip people with skills and knowledge, including stress management and building resilience.
- Having an EAP which was clearly communicated so employees understood what it offered and how to access it.
- Maintaining a high level of visibility as HR professionals and keeping the conversations going. My caveat to this is that supporting mental health is an organisation wide responsibility, although great when HR are offering innovative ways to support employees and get business buy-in.
- Having a clear communication strategy, sharing information with employees and setting up regular check ins with people.
- Having Mental Health First Aiders offering non-judgemental support. Although as a note, to be effective they need to be introduced as part of a wider strategy of raising awareness and reducing stigma around mental ill health.
- Collating information on other resources and services to sign post people to as appropriate.
- Training managers to understand trigger points and recognise when employees were finding things hard. This is a vital one for organisations to include.
- Identifying the different things that were impacting on mental wellbeing and taking action. Sometimes this was as simple as back to basics lessons on technology when people were finding it stressful to learn new ways of working.
- Introducing fun, participative activities for staff, including those that were furloughed
How will you maintain focus?
I’m confident that everyone left with at least one idea of something else they could do to keep a focus on mental health. This is something we must ensure is done.
Contact us for details
Protea Solutions provides a range of training options to support employee mental health including Mental Health First Aid courses accredited by MHFA England. These are offered as both public open courses and run within organisations. Contact us to find out how we can help you support your employees or contact us if you would like to find out more information and join our next MHFA Networking and Support Group.
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