The theme of this year’s Mental Health day was ‘Dignity in Mental Health” – sending out a very clear message as to how we as individuals, as a society and as organisation’s should approach those suffering with poor mental health. Dignity, whilst hard to define, allows us to respect that dignity represents and essential component of care and can result in major improvements in attitudes to those experiencing mental health problems.
Good Mental Health is a Valuable Asset
The World Federation for Mental Health states that having an appreciation that good mental health is a valuable asset should encourage people, as well as employers, to think about mental health more broadly. It is not only good for an organisations’ culture but also it just makes plain business sense. In a recent MIND survey 25% of people considered resigning due to stress .
The World Health Organisation (WHO) defines health as “a complete state of physical, mental and social well-being, not merely the absence of disease or infirmity”. Mental health is, therefore fundamental to total health and wellbeing.
There is no health without mental health…!
As such there is much talk about beginning the education piece around mental health in schools so young adults leave for the workplace well equipped to talk about their feelings, behaviour, having good mechanisms to ensure good mental health.
What More Can Organisations Do?
As with schools, education is an absolute necessity – as line managers are usually the first point of call for reporting an issue. Employers need to ensure that their managers are well trained and also supported in mental health issues.
Employers also need to look at how well their corporate culture supports good mental health and employee wellbeing, Worryingly in a recent CIPD report, it stated that the private sector was particularly lacking in managing and supporting employees with mental health issues, with 28% admitting they were doing nothing about it. Only 32% currently offer a counselling service.
So it seems there is much work still to be done to ensure healthy, in the true sense of the word, workplaces for us all. No need to say that recognizing World Mental Health Day in one great step towards that.