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Time To Do Better? Improving Mental Health in the Public Sector

Employee mental wellbeing should be a priority for every organisation. According to the Office for National Statistics in their March 2019 report, we spend an average of 37.2 hours of our week at work, which is a fair amount of time being spent in the office and may feel even longer if you feel like your mental health is not being adequately supported in the workplace.

Work-related stress can have a significant impact on your employee’s mental health. Being able to recognise the signs of stress and the triggers in a work environment is critical in understanding how to give the right support.

Mental Health in the Public Sector

Whilst there is more conversation around mental health and the stigma surrounding it than ever before, we still have a long way to go with ensuring that wellbeing strategies are being effectively implemented in the workplace.

What are some of the problems of not having a mental health strategy?

  • Lack of support – Understanding how to speak to employees about mental health can be challenging for managers who may not know how to approach the topic sensitively. Having a solid strategy in place such as knowing how to monitor your team’s wellbeing, looking for any changes in behaviour and opening up the dialogue for disclosed conversations can enable you to become a mental health leader in the workplace.
  • Lack of presence – Mental ill-health is the leading cause of sickness absence in the UK, costing organisations an average of £1,035 per employee per year (Time to Change). Having a work environment where employees feel comfortable to be open about their mental health and ask for help could prevent long-term absences in the workplace.
  • Lack of trust – If your employees feel like they can’t trust you, it’s very unlikely that they will open up to you if they are experiencing low mental health. By creating a culture of trust and enabling employees to feel like they can express how they’re feeling in a safe and understanding environment, the more the stigma around mental health in the workplace can be reduced.

Having an awareness of mental health in the workplace requires a level of understanding in emotional intelligence. By recognising key elements of emotional intelligence (EI) including self-management, social awareness, empathy and how to respond to emotions, you can increase the morale and productivity of your team by incorporating these into a strategy.

Join the conversation

Does your organisation have a mental health strategy in place? We’d love to hear from you! You can tweet us at @UModernGov.

Learn more about stress in the workplace and how to manage your employees wellbeing at our upcoming ‘Applying Emotional Intelligence and Ensuring Personal Resilience’ training course taking place in Central London on Tuesday 14th May, please contact us on 0800 542 9440 or email [email protected].

Can’t make the date?

We can also run this course for you In-house at your organisation or a venue of your choice, on a date to suit you.

Contact our In-house training team on [email protected] or call 0800 542 9414 to find out more.