Mental Health Misconceptions

There has clearly been a focus on improving general awareness of mental health over the last few years. This has of course been a very positive step and whilst we have not completely eradicated the ‘stigma’, more and more people are talking about mental health these days.

Paying specific attention to awareness of mental health in the workplace, millions of working days are lost each year due to mental health issues in the UK. Early diagnosis and treatment of mental health conditions can make a huge impact in terms of recovery rates however; many UK workers are delaying seeking help for mental health conditions due to widely held misconceptions.

I believe the majority of people could identify the key symptoms of depression and anxiety. However, Bipolar, Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) are known to be mental health conditions which are most commonly misunderstood by employees. Greater understanding of the specific signs and symptoms is needed to recognise mental ill health in a colleague.

So, what can Companies do to help improve understanding within the workplace?

Utilise the support and services you have in place

Many organisations will have some form of insurance in place to protect your employee’s wellbeing. However, are you aware of the additional added value benefits which may be included within your cover? Support services are becoming common place in employee benefit insurances and are included at no additional cost.

Consider implementing a Health & Wellbeing Strategy

An effective Health & Wellbeing Strategy will help to improve the wellness of your employees and implementing a strategy through planned wellbeing initiatives will promote and encourage wellbeing in the workplace. Wellbeing produces positive attitudes, engagement, motivation and innovative thinking which are all key to an organisation’s long-term effectiveness.

Consider the use of Mental Health Champions

Most places of work will have First Aid ‘Champions’ so why not have Mental Health Champions? People from within the business who are specifically trained to spot the signs of colleagues who may be struggling. They can help with educating their colleagues to be mental health aware as this is the first step to encourage early intervention.

Remember, diagnosing and treating mental health conditions early will have a dramatic impact when it comes to recovery. To aid this, we must do all we can to combat the issues of mental health misconceptions.

 

There are many steps which can be taken to ensure your business is providing the relevant support for your employees which Wingate Benefit Solutions can help you with. From implementing/developing an effective Health & Wellbeing Strategy to reviewing your existing employee benefit products to see if they include supplementary benefits, we can help you provide support for your employees. If you would like to find out more, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us on 01883 332260 or at info@wingatebs.com .

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