Despite our male population accounting for 87 per cent of work-related suicides, men’s mental health remains an unspoken topic in the workplace. In light on Men’s Health Week, it’s time to start the conversation around men’s mental health.
Working within a small business typically implies long hours, uncertain routine and increased responsibility. Due to the demanding pressures of running a small business, owners typically neglect to recognise the signs that their staff or their own mental wellbeing is suffering. The consequences of poor mental health in the workplace can lead to lower levels of engagement, disinterest and high staff turnover.
It is imperative that businesses are able to accommodate the challenges associated with the mental health of employees.
Here are four key tips on how to address mental health challenges in the workplace:
1. Flexibility in the workplace
Business leaders can introduce flexibility into the workplace in effort to support the competing demands of modern life. Providing a clear guidance of structure gives workplaces the stability to get on with their day-to-day work, eliminating any stress and confusion that may arise. Flexible working hours help employees better balance work and home lives, and help employers attract and retain employees in the long run.
2. Finding a balance
Cultivate healthy habits that support your mental and physical health outside of the workplace. Finding what works for you is the key. This can include adjusting your everyday routine to include physical exercise, quality time with family, socialising and prioritising your own down time. Be aware of your own mental wellbeing and listen to your body, know when to take a break and act accordingly.
3. Check-in on your colleagues
Your best support network is the people closest to you. If you see your fellow colleague struggling, don’t shy away from asking if they are okay. Introducing the conversation of mental health into your workplace culture can encourage employees to speak up if they are struggling. Even if you can’t reach your co-workers in person, check in over the phone or on a Zoom call.
4. Professional help
Mental health is a complex issue and there is only so much a business owner can do to help employees and their own mental health. Both business owners and employees can reap the benefits of professional help. Talking to a professional can help men better interpret and understand their mental state. The effects of professional support can not only positively impact your mental health but attribute to how you manage difficult situations, people and relationships in the future.
Let’s work to end the stigma for men speaking up on mental health issues in the workplace. The unique position of small business allows for staff to work cohesively as one unit which comes with greater awareness of your colleagues. Whether you are an employer or employee, foster these conversations about mental health in your workplace. Check-in on your colleagues and develop healthy habits to support your own mental wellbeing.