Mental Health Awareness Week 2021: How to Support Your Employees’ Wellbeing From Home & The Office
In the workplace, Mental Health Awareness Week is a valuable opportunity for business leaders to offer their employees emotional support. As the professional sphere is defined by high-pressure, demanding projects, it can often cause mental burnout and stress.
This can result in decreased productivity, with 41% of employees reporting that stress impacts their focus and increased absenteeism, which costs the economy over $20 billion a year. Mental health initiatives in the workplace can nurture a culture of communication, to tackle the detrimental impact of anxiety on both employee wellbeing and a business’ performance.
In our latest post, we explore the ways business leaders can support employee mental wellbeing, this Mental Health Awareness Week.
What is Mental Health Awareness Week?
Mental Health Awareness Week is an annual event that recognises the importance of emotional wellbeing. For over two decades, the week has promoted techniques for reducing stress, as well as highlighting the value of mental health support and the ways businesses can safeguard their employees.
In 2021, the theme is Nature, to encourage people to use fresh air and exercise as a source of wellbeing management. With social inequalities leading to mental health disparities between different countries, the theme utilises the accessibility of nature to tackle stress.
When is Mental Health Awareness Week?
This year, Mental Health Awareness Week is taking place from the 10th to the 16th of May.
The week is an essential opportunity for businesses to raise awareness for mental health and destigmatise wellbeing support in the workplace.
3 Ways to Support Mental Health at Work
Below are three ways to support the mental health of your employees who work within your office.
Encourage a Healthy Lifestyle
Optimum mental health starts with a healthy lifestyle. From eating a balanced diet to regular exercising, such habits can help employees destress after a busy day at work. There are several ways to encourage a healthy lifestyle, including sending informative emails, hosting your own fitness workshop or supplying free fruit every week. No two workplaces are the same, so explore multiple options before deciding which will best suit your team.
Host a Wellbeing Workshop
Wellbeing workshops have become increasingly popular in the workplace, as 80% of companies with over 50 employees offer some form of wellness support. Such initiatives reduce absenteeism, increase productivity and encourage employees to discuss their emotional health.
Jonny Benjamin and Neil Laybourn are two of the most popular mental health speakers for wellbeing workshops. Following Jonny’s mental health crisis where Neil prevented him from committing suicide, the campaigners joined forces to redefine wellness in the workplace. Their speaking engagements lead attendees to value their mental health and speak out against stigma.
Create a Culture of Communication
When a workplace encourages open and judgment-free communication, especially with a colleague trained in mental health support, employees can share their concerns in a safe environment.
The phrase “a problem shared is a problem halved” reflects the power of talking, as it allows for a new perspective and valuable external support. One of the best ways to encourage communication is with a drop-in approach, as it prompts employees to utilise the opportunity to discuss their wellbeing.
3 Ways to Support Employee Mental Health Working From Home
Below are three ways to support the mental health of your employees who work remotely, whether full time or during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Organise an Online Activity
With employees working from home, it can be difficult to boost team spirit, leading to isolation. Online activities like office quizzes encourage team members to bond in an informal setting, to ensure staff build meaningful connections with their colleagues. From the comfort of their own homes, employees will feel part of a compassionate team, forging friendships.
Hire a Virtual Mental Health Speaker
Virtual events have been a staple of 2020/21, as the Covid-19 pandemic forced many offices to close. Business leaders across the world have since turned to online mental health speakers to reach their staff, and encourage positive mental health practices.
We have booked a wealth of mental speakers for corporate events, with virtual orators proving especially popular over the last year. One of the most impactful is Wendy Smith, personal development mentor and former Paralympian. With her infectious optimism, she teaches audiences how to manage stress and improve their mental health.
Ensure Employees Take Breaks
While working from home, it can be easy for employees to work overtime and burn themselves out. Known as “microbreaks”, a report found that remote working resulted in a 95% decrease in valuable recharging time, like using the bathroom or making a hot drink. One of the best ways to support your employees’ mental health this Mental Health Awareness Week is to encourage them to take meaningful breaks throughout the day.