These days, most workplaces are trying to reduce the impact of mental illness by helping to put in place simple, effective strategies to look after all their employees’ psychological wellbeing, leading to more productivity and engagement.
It’s not always easy to get everyone on board with workplace wellbeing initiatives but even little steps can really help. For example, one Victorian palliative care workplace has introduced weekly half-hourly meditation sessions to help employees deal with daily stressful situations.
An environment that promotes employees’ positive mental health can also retain their workers for longer. SuperFriend’s 2015 Work in Progress Survey showed that 51 per cent of people left a job because of poor mental health conditions while 40 per cent have stayed in a job longer because it was a mentally positive environment.
Having a zero-tolerance approach to bullying and harassment, and enforcing it, is guaranteed to keep good employees for longer. But creating a healthy working environment is not the only way organisations can support their employees’ mental health – they can also encourage their workers to look after their own psychological wellbeing. Below are some simple, easy ways to help employees engage in mental health self-care.
Mental health self-care tips
- Talk openly about mental health in the workplace and let employees know they can discuss any issues, in confidence, with their managers or supervisors
- Promote good exercise and diet habits. For example, have communal fruit bowls available, instead of sugary snacks, and introduce lunchtime walking groups
- Encourage employees to get involved in after work hobbies or social activities, such as a basketball or netball team. Make it a work team and supply colourful outfits for a bit of extra fun
- Encourage employees to stick to their rostered hours and take their scheduled breaks
- Encourage workers to turn off their work computers and phones after hours to create a clear division between home and work life
- During the work day, get employees to write a short to-do list that only has two or three top priorities to help lower stress levels
- Ensure the organisation’s management team are provided with the skills to look after their employees’ stress levels