Our mental health is part of what makes us who we are. Having good mental health helps give us a positive sense of motivation and purpose to tackle life’s challenges, big or small. But when our mental health isn’t in such great shape, the impact can make it difficult to cope, having a negative effect on our lives and how we think, feel, or act. So, why is mental health training important in the workplace?
The importance of mental health training
Everyone experiences ‘off days’ where we feel low or sluggish, or perhaps stressed and worried. For most of us, those feelings usually subside fairly quickly, but sometimes they last a little longer. When they do, it can lead to deeper mental health issues including depression and anxiety. In some cases, they can start more complex or long term problems including personality disorders or bipolar disorder.
Our place of work is where we spend a great deal of time and any of these symptoms can really affect our levels of engagement and ability to do our job well. But, as with many health issues, symptoms can often be misunderstood or maybe even ignored, until your work becomes a performance-related issue for you and your manager.
This is what lies at the heart of why mental health training is so important in the workplace. Having, and raising, the awareness of mental health and wellbeing is to be ever mindful of everyone in the workplace, whatever their role. Giving the support needed and the compassion required to create an inclusive and caring environment so everyone benefits.
Businesses should be part of the solution
In the 2019 Mental Health At Work report by Business In The Community, the largest business-led membership organisation dedicated to responsible business, the executive summary said: “mental health issues [are] estimated to cost employers around £34.9 billion each year, [and] providing effective support isn’t just the right thing to do – it makes complete business sense.”
While many of the stats in the report make for shocking reading, the following bullet points only really scratch the surface:
- 2 in 5 workers (39%) have experienced some form of work-related health condition in the past 12 months, with a quarter citing anxiety.
- 70% of managers say there are barriers to them providing mental health support.
- 41% of employees experiencing a mental health problem reported that there had been no resulting changes or actions taken in the workplace.
- Just 11% of managers in the UK have received training on understanding workplace stressors
These and other figures in the report show how essential it is for workplaces to get to grips with mental health problems. Wellbeing Director at BITC, Louise Ashton said: “More workplaces need to be part of the solution to better mental health, not part of the problem”. Alongside depression, stress, and loneliness and isolation, as we can see, anxiety is often cited as a key factor in workers’ mental health. In a previous blog, we explored how anxiety can become a bigger mental health problem and the best ways on how to stop anxiety taking over
A change in workplace culture
In light of the BITC stats, the good news is more and more businesses around the country are now changing their outlook on mental health in the workplace. Realising the impact mental health can have on any member of staff has seen a much-needed change in culture with more mental health and wellbeing policies in place and HR resources available.
As a result, businesses are not only acknowledging the effects of mental health on their staff, but actively helping them to recognise any early signs so they can manage their problems or issues more effectively. The positive impact of such change means staff will feel more able to cope with work pressures, while managers will feel better able to support their teams.
To begin this understanding, there’s no substitute for direct training and face to face communication to help raise awareness even further.
Workplace support and reassurance
Giving both managers and employees the background and essential knowledge needed to tackle mental health before it becomes a major issue, proper training can make a real difference in managing it in the workplace.
By raising awareness and reducing the stigma surrounding it, effective training will help people to talk about any issues they’re facing so they don’t have to face them alone. Any staff with mental health training will be able to give support and reassurance while giving staff the valuable opportunity to open up about any mental health concerns they’re facing.
This acknowledgement, support, and open communication will inevitably reduce the negative effects of mental health in the workplace for staff. But it will also see a rise in engagement and inclusion that enhances everyone’s work-life, creating a more productive – and enjoyable – workplace for all.
Clearfocus for mental health training
As a workplace mental health and communications training provider, Clearfocus Training has the resources to provide specialist training for two crucial areas in your business: your employees and your managers. Both courses are for employees or line managers who want to understand and support staff with mental health issues in the workplace.
- Mental health training for managers
Aimed at managers wanting to raise awareness and understanding of mental health in their team, this 1-day course will cover topics including: dealing with and reducing workplace stress, recognising mental health triggers, creating a safe environment that encourages open communication, and many more. To explore this course further, visit our mental health training for managers course page.
- Mental health training for employees
Aimed as an introduction for any staff needing a better understanding of mental health, this 1-day course will cover topics including: the difference between mental health and mental illness, myths and statistics on mental health, dealing with and reducing workplace stress, and many more. To find out more about this course, visit our mental health training for employees course page.
Suiting smaller groups of up to 15 people, each course is delivered by one of our fully qualified mental health professionals. Your chosen course can also be tailored to meet the needs of your business and those of your employees, giving you help in any specific areas. And the training can be held at a time, day, and venue of your choice of anywhere in the UK.