The Importance of Mental Health in the Workplace Fitneff Canada

The Importance of Mental Health in the Workplace

by Rachel Piers February 28, 2019

Did you know that according to the Canadian Mental Health Association, one in five Canadians will experience mental health issues in any given year? That’s a solid 20 per cent of people living in our country, which is pretty significant.

Last month, the #BellLetsTalk campaign ran once again to raise awareness for mental health and to work towards ending the stigma surrounding these illnesses. This has been a hugely successful campaign over the past few years, and we thought that we would continue the conversation about the importance of mental health too. Just because January is over doesn’t mean we have to quit talking about it! Here we share some fast facts about mental health and some tips to make your office more mental-health friendly.

 

The Facts on Mental Health

As we saw from the opening statistic, mental illness actually affects a huge amount of people. Even though it is often something that people feel ashamed about or nervous to admit, most (if not all) people have had some kind of experience with mental illness in their lives, either directly or indirectly. There are many different types of mental illness and also varying degrees of severity within each category. According to the Mood Disorders Society of Canada, anxiety disorders are the most common amongst the population.

The MDSC also identifies some interesting statistics on the economic effect of mental illness on society, which is intriguing to note from a corporate standpoint. First, they say that $33 billion on average is lost in the economy every year due to mental illness in the workplace. That said, only 31 per cent of Canadian employers have plans to discuss mental health in the workplace. That is a huge disconnect!

Mental health is an important piece of the puzzle when it comes to an overall lifestyle of wellness, and in order to have happy, productive employees, they need to be healthy too. So how can you become one of those 31 per cent ready to address the elephant in the room?

mental health awareness Fitneff Canada

 

Mental Health in the Workplace

There are many ways that you can encourage a positive, welcoming environment in the workplace that is conducive to mental health and open to hearing about mental illness when it arises. Some of these techniques include the following:

  • Have an open-door policy: If an employee doesn’t feel like they can talk to a manager or human resources professional regarding their mental health concerns, that’s a problem. Instill a culture with an open-door policy so that employees feel comfortable being honest with upper management. This includes being respectful when responding to someone’s struggle with mental illness and taking each concern seriously.
  • Provide an environment conducive to a healthy work-life balance: Work-life balance is key when it comes to managing stress and preventing mental illness where you can. Have policies in place that encourage a healthy work-life balance, like strict limits on total hours worked per week, healthy vacation time allowances or the option for flexible work schedules.
  • Provide access to resources: The right resources are important if an employee is experiencing mental illness. Make sure your human resources staff have access to these kinds of references (such as mental health programming, meditation guides, other wellness information, etc.…) and know how to connect staff with the appropriate health professionals when necessary.
  • Have clear job descriptions and appropriate workloads: As previously hinted at, stress can have a huge impact on mental health, and our jobs are often a major source of stress. Have measures in place to reduce workplace stress as much as possible, such as having clear job descriptions for employees to know exactly what’s expected of them and manageable workloads for their expertise and time.
  • Be inclusive: Foster a culture of inclusivity so that if someone does need to take a medical leave due to mental illness, they won’t feel like an outsider when they return to work. Include everyone in normal office activities and ask them what they need to have a healthy transition. Even if you’re afraid you won’t say the right thing, avoidance or silence are never the right answer.
  • Make wellness a priority: By making overall wellness a clear priority in your company, the importance of mental health will follow as well. Put workplace wellness initiatives in place to promote wellness in every aspect. For example, outfitting your office with height-adjustable sit-stand desks, active seating solutions or active accessories are great ways to let your employees know that you take health seriously. Plus, integrating more movement into your day produces natural mood-lifters and de-stressors, giving employees a leg up on mental health to begin with! 

mental health in the workplace Fitneff Canada

 

It’s time to make a difference and end the stigma; change the way your organization addresses mental health in the workplace today!




Rachel Piers
Rachel Piers

Author



Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.


Also in Fitneff Blog

6 Tips to Create a Culture of Wellness at Work
6 Tips to Create a Culture of Wellness at Work

by Rachel Piers April 18, 2019

It is widely known that incorporating wellness practices into your workplace can not only lead to happier and healthier employees, but also more productive employees. This is because when people are healthier, they need fewer sick days and are better able to focus on work while they’re in the office, rather than feeling ill or having chronic aches and pains. All in all, employees feel better and the company saves money. Makes sense, right?

Okay, this information is all well and good (pun intended), but how does a company actually create a culture of wellness at work? What are some practical tips that an organization can implement in order to make wellness a clear priority? To help you get started down the right path, we’ve put together six tips to help you integrate wellness into the workplace today.

Read More

5 Leisure Activities that You Can Make More Active
5 Leisure Activities that You Can Make More Active

by Rachel Piers April 11, 2019

What are some of the things that you do to unwind at the end of the day? For many of us, leisure activities like reading or watching a favourite Netflix show spring to mind. You’ve been at the office all day, your brain is feeling tired and you just want to do something relatively mindless to relax. We get it!

The problem here is not with the activities themselves, but there is a problem with the sedentary behaviour that they promote. If you’ve been sitting all day at your desk at work only to come home and sit some more in the evening, those sedentary hours can add up quickly and make a big difference in your overall health.

With that in mind, we’ve put together a few tips and tricks on how to make some of these leisure activities more movement-friendly. This way, when you’re feeling like you need some downtime with one of these pastimes, you can do so guilt-free.

Read More

Self-Care Exercises for Every Day of the Week
Self-Care Exercises for Every Day of the Week

by Rachel Piers April 04, 2019

#SelfCareSunday has definitely become a trending sensation on Instagram in recent years, with people all over the Internet posting about spa days and special treatments come the weekend. But who says self-care has to be a massive undertaking, and who says it should happen only one day a week?

Here at Fitneff, we think self-care is important every day of the week. So, for this week’s blog we thought we would put together a weekly schedule of self-care practices that you can do to make sure you’re giving yourself what you need to be at your best. But self-care shouldn’t just be written about – it should be done! So I, your friendly Fitneff marketing coordinator, decided to put the schedule to work last week and I’ll share with you my experience with each activity. 

Read More