Mental Health and Wellbeing in the Workplace

Our Employment Law Expert, Leah Waller, discusses why she believes taking care of mental health and wellbeing in the workplace is of significance importance and can have benefits for both the Employees and Employers…

Health and Safety within the workplace is of primary importance to employers, with legislation in place to protect employees and those that enter the workplace, however, mental health and wellbeing does not (YET!) have the same protection.

With 1 in 4 of us experiencing mental ill health at some point in our lifetime, I believe that mental health and wellbeing in the workplace (where we spend so much of our time) is of prime importance and should be a focus point for all employers, whatever their size and the size of their workforce.

For Employers, promoting and encouraging positive mental health and wellbeing within the workplace is not only the right thing to do, it will also improve your workforce and working environment making it much more productive.

A couple of top tips that I would advocate to improve your own mental wellbeing are:

  • A Gratitude Journal

This doesn’t need to be anything fancy!

Just taking a little time out of your day – just 5-10 minutes will suffice – to consider what you have done well, what you have achieved or what you are grateful for that day, can really help to focus your mind and encourage a positive mind set.

The journal doesn’t just have to be work related but I would suggest giving yourself a target of writing at least three positives each day and making at least one of those work-related.

If you want to focus on a ‘work-only’ gratitude journal to begin with, why not? It is a great place to start! After all, we spend so much of our time at work.

  • Talk!

This may sound ridiculous at first but…how many of us just bottle up our thoughts and feelings, letting them all build up?

If you haven’t got anyone at work you can speak with then perhaps a close friend could help or even an online community. Social media gets a lot of bad press but can also be very helpful for finding support and others in a similar situation.

Of course, some situations will progress to a stage where formal intervention is required or speaking with your Employer or a professional may well be necessary, but taking steps at an early stage to just discuss your thoughts and feelings may well help prevent this.

Looking after your own mental health and wellbeing is of the utmost importance! None of us can function and give our best to others if we are not feeling 100% ourselves. A quote that I love is…

It is not selfish to refill your own cup, so that you can pour into others.

It is not just a luxury, it is essential.

Leah Waller is a qualified Mental Health First Aider and has co-written an e-learning course for the legal profession to promote and encourage mental health and wellbeing in the workplace.

 

If you have any questions or concerns, as an Employer or Employee, please do get in touch for a free consultation.

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