5 Factors That Contribute To Workplace Mental Health (PART 2).

*Photo credit: The Black Dog Institute

DISCLAIMER: We are sharing common problems our clients experience. BespokeHR are not mental health or medical practitioners and any advice provided in these blogs do not take away the requirement to seek professional advice where required, and advise to seek further assistance via the links to resources at the end of this blog.

Last week we covered five contributing factors to mental health in the workplace. 

In part 2, we’ll cover another five factors that through extensive research by The Black Dog Institute has been shown to greatly influence mental health, and address what you can do to mitigate the risk of such factors contributing to poor mental health. 

1. Organisational change

Changes within an organisation can significantly impact on the mental health of a worker, particularly if the change puts a person at risk of losing their job.

“Common organisational activities such as restructuring and downsizing can result in increased job strain and insecurity,” says The Black Dog Institute. 

“Research shows that even those staff members who were not at risk of job loss experienced increased rate of mental illness, sickness absence and disability. 

Humanising an organisation and planning how any changes take place can provide a level of support resulting in improved job satisfaction and mood.”

2. Recognition & Rewards

Do you often recognise your staff for the good work they are doing? Do they feel appreciated and valued? 

“Recognition and reward in a work environment refers to appropriate acknowledgement and gratitude of an employee’s efforts in a fair and timely manner. 

“Two major research reviews have suggested that an imbalance between effort and reward results in an increased risk of mental disorder. 

“Additionally, these factors may indicate a disconnect between organisational culture and employee expectations.”

3. Safety & Environment

Do you provide a safe environment for people to come to work to every day? Both physically and mentally? 

“A mentally healthy workplace provides a both a physically and psychological safe climate for employees,” says The Black Dog Institute. 

“This includes a commitment to stress management, addressing of environmental triggers such as poor lighting or noise exposure, and participation of all levels of management to the development of safety frameworks.”

4. Stigma

One of the biggest challenges people experience having a mental illness is the stigma that comes along with it. 

Like any kind of physical illness, mental illness is not a sign of some kind of personal weakness or character flaw. 

“Mental illness remains the most stigmatised group of disorders in the workplace,” according to The Black Dog Institute. 

“Employers frequently state they would not employ someone with a known mental disorder and employees will not risk disclosing any mental challenges.

“A responsible workplace should make every effort to reduce stigma and encourage help-seeking and support.”

5. Work-life balance

Does your business offer flexibility and empower workers to have control of their personal life and other areas of their life? 

Does your business acknowledge a worker’s life outside of work?

“Even with an understanding and proactive employer, individual employees may experience personal crises that will impact their productivity and ability to remain at work,” says The Black Dog Institute. 

“Life experiences such as marital distress, financial strain or dependent children can exacerbate work stress and result in strain, illness and sickness absence. 

“In addition, other issues such as substance misuse, poor diet and limited exercise may be directly related to the organisation culture as well as personal choices. 

“Research has shown that job satisfaction, organisational support and resilience training can have a protective effect on individuals at risk.”

Next week we’ll take a look at a common mental health condition that occurs within the workplace – depression, and four things you can do to offer support. 

VIDEO CREDIT: Beyond Blue – www.beyondblue.org.au

For more information and resources see below:

Lifeline: Ph: 13 11 14 W: www.lifeline.org.au

Beyond Blue: Ph: 1300 22 4636  W: www.beyondblue.org.au

The Black Dog Institute: W: www.blackdoginstitute.org.au

Safework SA Mental Health Resources: W: www.safework.sa.gov.au/health-safety/health-wellbeing

Mental Health Emergency Line: Ph. 13 14 65 or in case of an emergency requiring immediate assistance, call 000

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