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Mental Health Awareness At Work

Mental Health Awareness at Work

Mental Health Awareness at Work

The benefits of training managers in mental health awareness are:

  1. Remove the stigma surrounding the subject of mental health in the work place.
  2. Improve productivity by fostering good mental health.
  3. Minimise absence caused by poor mental health.
  4. Improve awareness of how the work culture affects mental health.
  5. Notice warning signs of any potential mental health problems.
  6. Eliminate any dangerous practices that constitute mental health risk factors.
  7. Create a culture that promotes good mental health and a productive atmosphere.

Talking about mental health issues has become more acceptable recently.

For many companies, mental health issues are a growing concern. Many organisations are now investing in training, in order to make their managers more keenly aware of the possible affects that poor mental health can have on performance.

Organisations want to increase the opportunities to promote positive mental health in the workplace, and thus enjoy the benefits of a positive health culture.

Simultaneously, organisations need to reduce any of the risk-factors that are associated with mental health problems.

Mental health training for managers is intended to help them understand:

  1. What is meant by the term "mental health".
  2. How mental health affects work performance.
  3. What work factors promote good mental health.
  4. What work factors may be dangerous to mental health.
  5. How to identify mental health warning signs.
  6. How to develop a code of conduct that will promote good mental health.

What is meant by the term "mental health".

The definition of mental health is, "A state of mind that results in people expressing optimum behavioural and emotional responses, that are appropriate and adaptive to the circumstances that face them".

Mental health is important because your results rely upon the performance of the people that comprise your organisation.

If your employees are NOT expressing the optimum emotional responses that are appropriate to the circumstances that face them, then their performance is not optimum and their results will be poor.

Mental health training asks managers to take a more holistic view of people:

People's mental health is affected by four main elements:

  1. State of mind.
  2. Physical health.
  3. Social relationships.
  4. Environmental factors.

Mental health training needs to cover what you can do about each of these factors:

1. State of mind

Mental health is primarily about the mental state of the people. Human beings are creatures of habit. Everyone has habits. And everyone has mental habits that they tend to repeat every day.

Mental habits can be positive or negative.

  • Some people have a tendency towards positive mental habits.
  • Other people have a tendency towards negative mental habits.
  • Most people have "mixed bag" of both positive and negative mental habits.

People with poor mental health have a tendency towards negative mental habits.

Managers need to know how they can foster a positive mental state and the things they need to stop doing, which foster negative mental states.

Managers must learn how to communicate with their staff, in ways that will encourage and build people up, and equally important, how NOT to break people down.

2. State of body

It is important to recognise that "mind and body" form one integrated system.

The mind is affected by the body, and the body is effected by the mind.

When people get into negative mind states, they often change the way they treat their body, either positively or negatively.

Negative changes include: Food, alcohol and drugs.

Positive changes are: Nutrition, sleep and exercise.

Many people who are experiencing mental health issues, abuse food, alcohol or drugs, in a misguided attempt to manage their mental state.

This means they do NOT have good nutrition, they often have sleep problems and often give up exercise.

These physical factors can be readily observed and noted and often act as a signal that something is going wrong.

3. Social relationships.

People's social relationships have a major impact on their mental health.

If relationships are positive, then mental health is improved.

If relationships are negative, then mental health is diminished.

Organisations need to understand how the professional and personal relationships within the organisation, can contribute to both the problem and the solution of mental health issues.

4. Environmental factors.

To a degree, we are all affected by the environment. The quality of air, water, light, sound and silence will impact on the mental health of workers.

If the working environment has a good provision of clean air, water, light, quiet and peace, then mental health will be improved.

Working environments that are noisy, poorly lit, stuffy, too hot or cold, are more likely to create or exacerbate mental health problems

Employers needs to take each of the elements seriously, providing good working conditions that will improve the chances of good mental health.

Organisations may need to have written protocols that cover these issues.

Mental Health Awareness Training Course

If you are interested in a training course that covers the above issues thoroughly and gives you many ideas about what you and your organisation can do to improve mental health in the workplace, please take a look at our one-day Mental Health Awareness training course.

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