Employee Mental Health is an important and growing topic for employers globally.
As there becomes more recognition of the importance of mental health and how the workplace plays a role, there also needs to be an answer to the question of "How do we support this?"
Don't Shy Away From the Topic
The most important step is just that... taking a step. It can be an uncomfortable topic for some, but that is because it can feel unknown. Managers don't know what to do or what to say to support their staff (or themselves!) and that can lead to a workplace that feels disconnected and unsupportive. It takes courage to dive into it, but once you do, you will find it is actually quite refreshing!
Help Your Leaders
I am sure you have heard the direction at the beginning of a flight to "put on your own mask before assisting others" in case of emergency. When it comes to mental health, we need to start with our leaders. It is important to be able to look and listen to yourself and those working for you, to learn your own stressors and how to manage them as well as to recognize it in others. We need to know what to actually do and say to support them. Without this training our leaders are left to figure it out for themselves, (or not).
Train Your Staff
Every person has stress in their lives, has experienced difficulty and even trauma. Your perspective on this, how you care for yourself and how you connect with others during these times has a major impact on your resiliency and ability to strive. Most people haven't taken the time to think about their stress, where it comes from, and how they manage it, let alone create a plan for themselves to do so. With the proper training and reflection, people can learn to protect themselves as well as support others, and this is huge for the overall mental health in a workplace.
Psychological First Aid Training
We were one of the first Canadian Red Cross training partners to launch the Psychological First Aid program, and we have seen the demand for this training growing each month.
Unlike other mental health first aid programs, this course doesn't focus on mental health conditions or illnesses, but rather how to support yourself and others in day-to-day life as well as in times of crisis.
We have had the pleasure of working with groups from government, health care, private sector management, students and first responders and have received extremely positive feedback from this short 1-day program.
If you want to learn more, visit our Psychological First Aid page, or Contact Us