Looking after our mental health in the workplace is so important. For many of us, the workplace is where we spend most of our time and so ensuring that we have a healthy work-life balance can be the key to us remaining healthy, both physically and mentally.

According to The Chartered institute of Personnel Development (CIPD), mental health issues can affect one in four people at some point in their lives and will have a significant impact on employee wellbeing. They are a major cause of long-term absence from work and so employers should promote good mental health and provide support for employees who are experiencing mental health problems including anxiety or depression.

According to the Mental Health at Work website:

  • 41% of employees have experienced poor mental health where work has been a contributing factor.
  • 300,000 individuals lose their jobs each year due to poor mental health.
  • Only 56% of people feel comfortable talking about mental health issues in the workplace.

This shows that there is a growing need to support mental health whilst at work.

It is important for an employer to be alert, looking out for early signs of stress and burnout so that they can offer support and signpost to services that are able to give advice and offer additional help.

Burnout can happen when a person is under a lot of pressure, if you are experiencing burnout you may feel:

  • Exhausted and drained of energy.
  • Like you enjoy your job less or perhaps you don’t feel as motivated as you used to.
  • Like you’re not doing your job as well as you have done previously.
  • Irritable and anxious.
  • You may suffer from headaches and stomach aches, and you could also have trouble sleeping.

If the signs and symptoms of burnout are ignored this can often leave you feeling emotionally and mentally exhausted adding to poor mental health.

Mind has put together some tips for how to cope with burnout, should this arise. Firstly, ensure you take your annual leave. Having time off is important, even if you stay at home and relax. This allows time to reset and recharge.

Get enough sleep, turn off any screens and do something to relax before you go to bed.

Finish work on time, it can often be easy to stay a little later to get things done, whilst this is okay occasionally, if you’re constantly working extra hours, it can be a sign that the job is too much for one person, and this could be a conversation to have with a manager.

Schedule in self-care, this could feel and sound simple, but self-care can often go overlooked. Do things you enjoy, whether that be watching tv, participating in a hobby, seeing friends and family, focus on something non-work related.

Lastly, ask for help. If you feel that you may be struggling with your mental health whilst at work, talk to your manager as soon as you can – your mental health is the most important thing. And if you’re unable to speak with your line manager about how you’re feeling, make sure to check in with somebody you trust about your mental health.

A recent survey completed by the Mental Health Foundation detailed that 20% of individuals have gone into work whilst experiencing thoughts of suicide. Experiencing thoughts of suicide is far more common than people think, and it is often not talked about at work.

The CIPD has created a guide for employers to learn more about how to provide practical advice and guidance on how organisations can educate their workforce, making it easier to talk openly about suicide, shattering the stigma that is attached to it.

The guide offers advice on:

  • Why suicide is a workplace issue.
  • Understanding suicide.
  • Creating a supportive and positive culture for mental health.
  • Responding to suicide risk.
  • Support after suicide.

By creating a non-stigmatising culture and a safe space to talk, employers can play an important role in signposting people to the professional support and advice that a person may need.

More information on the guide can be found here.

It is important for a workplace to ensure employees feel listened to and supported, a working environment should encourage an individual to share their issues surrounding mental health and suicidal thoughts enabling them not to feel judged at any point. Having a pro-active workforce is important and helps to ensure that burnout and mental health issues can be kept to a minimum.

The wellbeing of our employees is important at PAPYRUS and we offer an extensive range of benefits and support. You can find them here.

We’re always on the lookout for passionate people to join our team, keep an eye on our current vacancies for all our job openings: Current vacancies | Papyrus UK | Suicide Prevention Charity (papyrus-uk.org)

If you are struggling with thoughts of suicide or are concerned about someone that may be struggling our helpline, HOPELINE247 is there to offer free, confidential support and advice.

You can call 0800 068 4141, text 88247 or email pat@papyrus-uk.org

HOPELINE247 is open every day of the year, 24 hours a day.

 

 

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