How to Better Support and Manage Mental Health in the Workplace

How to Better Support and Manage Mental Health in the Workplace

How to Better Support and Manage Mental Health in the Workplace

Anxiety, depression, and substance abuse—these are things that have all skyrocketed during the pandemic, thanks to the news, isolation, and loneliness, added stressors at home and work and having to constantly adjust our normal routines.

Fostering a sense of community and looking after how employees are doing mentally has become more of a challenge, especially with remote work becoming more common. However, it’s something that’s absolutely necessary for organizations to not only stabilize but grow.

Tips for Supporting and Managing Employee Mental Health

1) First and foremost, start the conversation

  • Ensure employees have access to information on both mental health and substance abuse, as well as wellness materials.
    • This should include materials on how to manage and support loved ones and coworkers dealing with mental health or substance abuse issues.
    • It should also include information on how to handle and report mental and physical abuse they might be seeing or experiencing.
  • Speak out from the top down; have leadership speak openly about these issues and the importance of looking after mental health and wellness on a regular basis.

2) Put resources in place for support and make sure employees are checking in

  • Employees are your most valuable resource, so looking after them should be a priority; consider having weekly or bi-weekly check-ins or anonymous mental health surveys.
    • Use the feedback you’re given to provide more focused support.
  • Track how your employees are doing as individuals so you can clearly see when someone needs help, even if they’re not speaking up about it.
  • Make sure employees have access to professional help and support if they want or need it.

3) Provide structure and community

  • Facilitate ways for employees to have group discussions about mental health and wellness, as well as ways for them to safely have fun together, such as:
    • Parent groups, pet owner groups, coffee clubs, book clubs, socially distanced or virtual running groups, or virtual yoga sessions.
  • Set up accountability groups for those struggling with resources, tips, and both support from leadership, as well as advice from professionals.

4) Mandate and normalize self-care

  • Set up reminders, groups, and tips for employees looking to improve their day-to-day wellness, such as:
    • Meditation or screen time breaks or adding a mandatory 5-15 desk or station break every 2 to 4 hours; or things like reminders or ways to track movement, hydration, and eating.
      • Even if these things seem obvious, without a normal routine or the reminder that we need to and are worth self-care, looking after ourselves can sometimes be overlooked.
  • PTO should be used for mental health as well as physical health.
    • It’s more important than ever that employees are using their time off, and are allowed to use sick days if they need a mental break.

5) Make it official

  • Update your policies to reflect the importance of mental health.
  • Set up formalized tracking and response for mental health and substance abuse concerns.
  • Ensure managers are both trained for and comfortable with dealing with any and all mental health issues or concerns.

Looking for ways to increase your organization’s mental health and wellness via Workforce Management software? We can make it easy to do things like share helpful information, set up wellness reminders and tasks—even track PTO, automatically re-schedule for, and follow-up with employees that need to take a mental health day. Contact us for advice or more information.

Check out our other thought leadership on Covid and Crisis, as well as what TeamzWize can do for your business:

· Workforce Management During a Crisis: Making Sense of Shifts, Rotas, and Rosters When Times are Tough

· Workforce Management and Covid-19: 4 Ways to Focus Your Organization and Move Forward