There is no health without mental health. Wellbeing initiatives have become commonplace in today’s workplaces with many different ways to support employees in their efforts to be healthy and happy. So, what do we do at Genoa Black to make sure we are promoting the best ways to manage mental health at work?
Remove the stigma around mental health
1 in 4 people in the UK experience a mental illness every year (Time to Change 2019), however, many don’t access treatment because of the stigma that surrounds it. 60% of people with a mental health problem wait over a year to begin to tell anyone about it. That is a whole year without treatment and, just like physical problems without care, mental illness gets worse without the right support or treatment.
How we do it: At Genoa Black we are mindful of the way we talk about mental health at work. In the language we use we try to remove stigmas around mental illness so people have the confidence to seek help. To support this, we also have a wellbeing check-in once a month that offers a safe space where staff can share any and all concerns confidentially.
Keep your employees active
Regular exercise in the working day can provide a boost to both energy levels and mental wellbeing. A quick walk, even just for 15 minutes, releases the physical and emotional tensions that work can bring, lowering overall stress levels. It also provides an opportunity for colleagues to connect outside of a formal work environment and fosters healthy personal relationships – another mental-health-boosting benefit.
How we do it: At Genoa Black we regularly encourage walking meetings, outside lunch breaks, put on monthly wellbeing sessions where staff practice mindfulness, yoga and meditation and we put on other active sessions such as team sailing days.
Help your employees eat well
Food is linked to mood. What we eat can affect how we feel both immediately and in the longer term. If we don’t eat regularly or well it can make us feel tired and irritable, creating or exacerbating poor mental health. A diet that is good for your physical health is also good for your mental health, but it can be hard to keep up a healthy pattern of eating at work.
How we do it: We encourage team lunches, where we club together and share meals, we run a free breakfast fruit bar to help employees get a good breakfast every day and provide smoothies and jugs of flavoured water to make it easier to stay hydrated.
Be a role model
Be a leader within your business and model mental wellbeing boosting strategies through your own behaviour and teach them to others. Changing behaviour and practices takes time, but commitment and regular repetition go a long way to ensuring it becomes the norm.
How we do it: We make it easier to be a role model as we have integrated our values, which feature wellbeing themes and inclusivity, into staff reviews, to encourage the behaviours we want to see in the office. This allows us to talk about, and consider, individual contribution to this as part of our performance reviews.