World Mental Health Day
On October 10th, every year, we celebrate World Mental Health Day. This year, it falls on a Wednesday. This day began in 1992 and was started by the World Federation for Mental Health in an effort to promote mental health awareness. Mental health is just as necessary to maintain as physical health, and it’s important to spread awareness that encourages individuals to take preventative measures that will enhance their mental well-being. When individuals do not take care of their mental health, several negative consequences can occur. These consequences include an increased risk of physical illness, stress, mental illness and workplace absences. Overall, for the sake of an individual’s entire well-being, it is crucial to take care of and maintain mental health. This year, take time to take care of yourself and think of other ways you can maintain your mental health!
Mental Health in the Workplace
When an individual’s mental health is suffering, it affects all aspects of their life, and the workplace is no exception. One of the main concerns in regards to the workplace is stress. Stress severely impacts an individual’s mental well-being, and with approximately 62% of Canadian workers identifying as “very stressed” at work, this is an issue we need to address. Issues that arise when an employee’s mental well-being is compromised include quality issues, isolation, colleague relationship concerns, turnover, absenteeism and lack of productivity at work. Of course, the best way to stop this from happening is to enforce prevention strategies. Employers can take preventative measures to assist their employees with managing their mental health, such as:
- Providing resources and education – such as resiliency training, awareness training, counselling, etc.; see resources below!
- Promoting self-care and mindfulness in the workplace
- Enforcing an open-door policy and a trusting environment with honest and open communication
- Make accommodations when they are needed to support stay at work
- Ensure your employees have scheduled breaks that they are using
- Train Managers on how to support employees when they are distressed
- Participate in education sessions to learn more about assisting employees and their mental health
In the long run, when employees are healthy, they are better workers. This is why it is beneficial for employers to invest in their employees’ well-being.
What Can Employees Do
Your mental well-being starts with you. At the end of the day, we are responsible for our own health and wellness, so we need to take the steps necessary to be at optimal health. There are many things employees can do to maintain positive mental health, including:
- Make time for activities that matter to you and make you happy
- Stay active – go for a walk on lunch breaks, get up and move around frequently
- Build meaningful and positive relationships with your co-workers
- Practice gratitude every day – focus on what is positive in your life instead of what is negative
- Check out our tips on topics such as mental health, resiliency, self-care and more
Gowan Consulting offers several resources that assist with improving mental health. These resources include:
- Occupational Therapist Intervention – our Occupational Therapists can assist with mental health concerns, such as reactivation in preparation for return to work, stay at work solutions, resiliency and coping strategies, functional cognitive assessments, workplace accommodations and more!
- Workshops – Cognitive Demands Analysis Certificate Program and Mental Health and Return to Work Workshops are currently available for registration
- Corporate training for managers on support of employees in distress and for employees to build resiliency
- Assistance to incorporate psychological health and safety in the workplace standards within your organization to reduce psychological risks
- Webinars – excellent tools for self-learning on topics such as mental health, communication, return to work and more!
Gowan Consulting. (2018).
Images retrieved from google.ca/images/worldmentalhealthday