Uncertainty. It’s a word we’ve all become familiar with over the past 7 or so months. It seems just as workplaces, schools, bars, pubs, and restaurants have started to reopen and a bit of normality was creeping back in, we’re now shifting into reverse.
There’s no doubt about it, the last 7 months have been difficult to say the least and with the recent Government announcement, nobody really knows where we’re heading.
With job worries, health concerns and more, the pandemic has been the perfect recipe for poor mental health across the globe...
A ‘Mental Health Crisis’
It’s clear to see that the pandemic has had a disastrous impact on people's mental health and wellbeing. A survey conducted by the Royal College of Psychiatrists reported that 43% of UK psychiatrists saw an increase in urgent and emergency cases during lockdown and evidence from the Sars pandemic points to the risk of both patients and healthcare workers experiencing diagnosable symptoms of traumatic stress in the months and years ahead. Moreover, it has been suggested that 500,000 more people will experience mental health conditions in the UK related to the economic downturn.
Managing Anxiety levels and building resilience
It would seem that two key skills can be learned in times of uncertainty to help better mental health and wellbeing - managing anxiety levels and building resilience to difficult or uncomfortable situations.
A key contributor to mental ill-health during the pandemic has been a steep rise in anxiety levels. Anxiety can affect anyone and it’s one of the most common mental health problems experienced in the UK. With the illness affecting more people than ever before, it is time for employers to address the issue and provide additional support to help improve their employees’ wellbeing.
Talking about the release of our new Managing Anxiety Course, Lottie Galvin (Studio Manager & Mental Health First Aider at iHASCO) said...
“Releasing this course has been a wonderful thing for us, as anxiety is debilitating for so many people and our team are fortunate to be in a position to help others. Anxiety affects all of us at some time in our lives, but for many, it’s a daily burden, so we wanted to provide some simple tools that encourage people to take back control and reduce their own feelings of unease, worry or fear on a daily basis.”
Before COVID-19, 59% of employers said that they saw resilience as a key skill for candidates and it’s been proven that more resilient people are able to maintain good personal wellbeing in the face of adversity.
“Resilience is that ineffable quality that allows some people to be knocked down by life and come back stronger than ever. Rather than letting failure overcome them and drain their resolve, they find a way to rise from the ashes.”
So what can employers do?
Invest in training and their people and reap the rewards
A recent report from Deloitte showed that employers can gain a 6:1 return on investment when supporting staff with mental health and wellbeing. This includes things like awareness training, counseling, support in the form of MHFA (Mental Health First Aiders) and more.
Deloitte’s report showed that:
- Reactive mental health support (1-1, therapy, etc...) has an average ROI of 3:1
- Proactive mental health support (workshops, coaching, etc…) has an average ROI of 5:1
- Organisation-wide culture/awareness-raising (tailored web portals, personal exercise sessions) has an average ROI of 6:1
Offer mental health support
Many employers would love to offer mental health support in the workplace, but just don’t know how to approach it or where to begin, but in reality, there are many ways for employers to offer support, including:
- Mental Health First Aiders - Mental Health First Aiders or champions are designated people within a business for staff to talk to. Anyone can become a MHFA through an approved course. Read more about iHASCO’s Mental Health First Aiders here.
- Support lines - Make staff aware of mental health support lines. There are many charities and organisations that can offer free external support. See more here.
- Regular one-to-ones - make sure that staff have regular one-to-ones with their managers to talk about any problems they are having.
Create a positive, open culture
It’s important that employees feel as though they can openly talk about their struggles at work. You can create an open culture by implementing the things above but you can also do things like creating a mental health policy, promote wellbeing, exercise and healthy eating, and more.
Organisations with positive, open cultures reduce their staff turnover, reduce absenteeism, and create more engaged and motivated employees.
Mental Health & Wellbeing eLearning
One of the simplest and most cost-effective ways of offering mental health support is to provide your staff with Mental Health & Wellbeing eLearning courses. Our training bundle includes:
- Mental Health Awareness Training
- Mental Health Awareness Training for Managers
- Managing Anxiety Training
- Resilience Training
And more specialised courses.
We’ve delivered over 115,000 mental health-related training sessions and our courses are approved and accredited. Why not get started with a free, no-obligation trial today?