A recent study by Canada Life Group Insurance, shows there has been a 37% year-on-year increase in employees seeking work-related stress support. The research, carried out in the first quarter of 2016, found that 45% of all mental health-related calls to the Group’s employee assistance programme (EAP) were about anxiety. It also showed that depression and work-related stress had increased five percent from 2015.
As someone who has suffered from anxiety (as well as OCD, panic attacks and depression), I can vouch that anxiety is a very debilitating illness, and one which affects both a person’s physical and mental health. This is why it is paramount for me, as a boss, to create an environment in my workplace wherein I’m open and honest about discussing not only my own illnesses, but giving a non-judgemental platform for my employees to do the same, should they wish.
In my recent interview with The Huffington Post, I was open about my beliefs that there is no place for getting embarrassed about mental health issues in the workplace. Indeed, I actively encourage all my staff to talk openly about their mental health at work, without fear of being ostracised.
My goal is to make employers feel an obligation to address mental health and help people to see mental illness as a normal human condition, whilst creating a culture of acceptance. I’m really happy that I get to achieve this goal through The Shaw Mind Foundation Workplace. We can guide employers, managers and employees on how they can best tackle the stigma that sometimes surrounds mental health issues. And we can help you find ways to help staff if they suffer from a mental illness.
To access a range of free guides on promoting positive mental health at work and dealing with mental illness as an employee, manager or employer, please see the dedicated Workplace section on our website.
Why not get fundraising for The Shaw Mind Foundation with your colleagues? We will help you embrace a positive mental health environment at work via our free ‘Mental Health Open Zone’ poster to display in your workplace.