World Mental Heath Day-Combating Work stress

The World Health Organisation (WHO) marked today to make sure we are all reminded of the reality of being human. And that can, and will, involve periods of difficulty, adversity, hardship, stresses and strains.

The focus this year is on stress in the workplace as we spend a significant period of our day, week and life at work. With increasing numbers of staff burnout it is a poignant time to raise awareness of mental health related problems at work.

The WHO highlight the need for good support in your work place and having a “mentally healthy workplace”. This includes creating a culture of understanding mental health difficulties-something we all NEED to play a part in to ensure stigma is combatted.

A core element is good line management-the sort that:

· Pays attention to your needs

· Helps staff feel like they are contributing and appreciated for their work

· Takes mental health needs seriously

· Enables you to discuss your difficulties

· Does not make you feel ashamed

For line managers there is a responsibility to:

· Provide Empathy and understanding
o This helps promote conversation about wellbeing, as ignoring staff distress may exacerbate or prolong their problem-impacting their performance and wellbeing
o Talking about the issues also reduces stigma or shame

· Offer a culture of an open door policy so staff can feel able to discuss their difficulties. Sometimes solutions are simple and can be found together.

· Know policy and procedure to see how much support can be offered to staff that require it

o Contacting HR and Occupational Health to know what support is on offer is important
o Equally having resources for staff such as contacts of services may also be helpful

· Use your experience to guide a compassionate response and let their experience guide you in knowing what they may need or require.

· Use appraisals, supervision and informal contact with managers can help create an environment in which people feel able to discuss distress

For staff:

· Talk about your distress
· Don’t keep it in. Silence often makes it worse
· It’s ok if you are struggling-we all do

For further information please look at: