This informal CPD article HEADSMART – Building confidence at work to overcome mental health problems was provided by Let’s Get Healthy, a multi-award winning corporate health and wellbeing provider.
COVID-19 has brought lots of research, studies and support for employers to enable them to help colleagues as we all recover from its impact and adapt our lives into the new post pandemic workplace environment. One of the key topics is, how we help our teams recover from the mental health problems many suffered and indeed continue to overcome. A survey completed in 2020 provided valuable insight into the mental health of teams as they coped with COVID-19:
- Nearly 1 in 4 (23 percent) employees report feeling down, depressed, or hopeless often;
- 41 percent feel burnt out, drained, or exhausted from their work
- Over 1 in 3 employees (37 percent) reported having done nothing to cope with these feelings and only (7 percent) have reached out to a mental health professional. (1)
As the world recovers at different paces, these colleagues are returning to work; a new environment which feels faster, more focused, lonelier and in more cases just very, very different.
As line managers grab hold of change programmes, revised KPIs, new ways of working, it can be daunting to even consider providing them with training about mental health. With a growing ‘to do list’, powering up their confidence to support team members who have mental health problems is often pushed to the bottom of the ‘to do’ list.
Yet we know that upskilling teams to have confident conversations about mental health, setting up peer support networks that help each and every colleague talk about mental health, making everyone at work HEADSMART about mental health is proven to be the right thing to do for all.
The Wellcome 2020 report “Putting Science to work – understanding what works for workplace mental health’, shared the positive research and listed the evidence which supports the investment in training and enabling peers to help each other deal with mental health problems. It suggested:
- Setting up healthy boundaries for peer supporters and those they support
- Mental health programmes should have clear leadership support and dedicated supervisor training
- Employers have to consider confidentiality and privacy to ensure mental health stigma does not prevent colleagues from accessing support
With clear evidence-based direction for employers to develop a mental health training programme for its employees where should it start:
- Establish a group of committed colleagues at all levels to understand the needs of the organisation
- Compete a training needs analysis to understand the competency of line managers/supervisors to have competent conversations about mental health
- Speak to colleagues about how they want to set up their peer support networks
- Consider safeguarding, training, confidentiality, what support you can assess and signpost to locally and nationally
- Gain commitment from the leadership team to provide ongoing support, direction and training
We hope this article was helpful. For more information from Let’s Get Healthy, please visit their CPD Member Directory page. Alternatively please visit the CPD Industry Hubs for more CPD articles, courses and events relevant to your Continuing Professional Development requirements.
Source 1; Society for Human Resource Management COVID-19 Research- https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20200511005222/en/SHRM-Survey-41-Percent-of-Workers-Feel-Burnt-Out-During-Pandemic