Today is World Mental Health Day. The World Health Organisation recognises World Mental Health Day on 10 October every year.
Every year #WMHDay has a different theme. This year’s is psychological first aid and the support people can provide to those in distress.
One of the biggest mental health concerns in the workplace is stress. A recent survey of 1,000 workers revealed that seven in 10 said stress was a problem.
The economic costs of work related stress and mental illness disorders:
- In Europe, the annual cost of work related depression is €617 billion.
- This includes €272 billion lost due to absenteeism and presenteeism
- €242 billion due to reduced productivity
- €63 billion in healthcare costs and €39 billion in disability payments
It’s clear that less stressful working conditions would make for better workers.
What is stress?
Stress is an adverse reaction to excessive pressure or demands placed on people. Pressure is part and parcel of life and can help keep us motivated, but excessive pressure, or in ability to deal with pressure effectively can lead to stress. Unchecked for a lengthy period, stress can lead to ill health.
How people cope and deal with pressure can vary depending upon support networks, their living situation, and personal coping mechanisms.
By offering employees support and advice in the workplace, you can help them de-stress, whilst boosting productivity. A mentally healthy workforce is more likely to fulfill it’s potential, function well, make healthy choices, cope with pressure and enjoy work.
Ideas to enhance mental wellbeing in the workplace
- Physical activity and Healthy Eating
Physical activity does not just benefit physical health – it also promotes mental wellbeing and reduces stress. Exercise releases endorphins that trigger positivity and help control feelings of being stressed. Healthy eating promotes wellbeing and reduces obesity and other health problems.
To encourage your employees to improve their fitness and wellbeing, you could:
- Encourage your staff to do a Vitality Health review online and get their Vitality age
- Start a club, such as a running or cycling club, to get your staff active.
- Offer healthy food options in canteens or vending machines
- Encourage and motivate your staff to be healthy by offering incentives
- Encourage and organise charity sports, fitness or healthy eating events
- Organise regular Wellness days
- Encourage Cycle to Work schemes
- Offer discounted or free gym memberships
- Relaxing Activities
Encouraging relaxing activities can help staff reduce stress. This could be organised classes such as yoga or meditation, or inviting specialists in to talk about how staff can self help through relaxation techniques that they can work into their daily schedules.
- Mental Health Awareness
Mental health awareness training can help employees to be more aware of their own mental wellbeing, as well as those around them. This can help tackle the stigma surrounding mental illness and encourage a more positive working environment.
- Skills Training for Management
It’s important for the leaders in your organisation to have the skills to help promote mental wellbeing in the workforce and understand the issues employees face.
At Health Rewards we can help you put your wellbeing strategy into place. We want to get your business healthy and active. With Vitality Health and Life you can support your staff wellbeing and encourage healthy lifestyle choice. Reduce the risk of illness by encouraging people to engage with their wellbeing by providing rewards and benefits for their healthy choices.
What can we offer your business?
- Vitality members will receive discounts of up to 50% on various health screens with Vitality Partners including BMI Healthcare, Nuffield Health and Bluecrest. By visiting the Vitality Member Zone, filling in the online Health and finding out their Vitality Age, our customers are engaged with their health from minute one.
- Discounted fitness trackers from partners such as Garmin, Fitbit and Polar
- Discounted gym memberships at Virgin Active
- Rewards for your Healthy choices, such as weekly cinema tickets, weekly Starbucks drinks, monthly iTunes voucher and discounts with our major partners such as British Airways, Eurostar, Evans Bikes, and Sweatshop.