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Mental health facts & stats

What is a mentally healthy workplace?

  • employees feel respected, supported, and free to speak about concerns or stress.
  • risks to mental health are managed.
  • people with mental health conditions are supported by helping employees to stay at or return to work has clear benefits, both for the individual and the business.
  • there is a zero-tolerance approach to discrimination.

What are the common signs?

Changes in someone’s usual behaviour are often signs that there could be a mental health issue that the person is experiencing.

Some common indicators of poor mental health include:

  • increased absence from work/unplanned leave
  • lowered concentration e.g. not being able to make decisions or not being able to focus on tasks
  • reduced motivation
  • decreased personal care
  • lower performance or problem-solving ability
  • irritability or signs of aggression
  • reacting with unusually high emotion
  • feeling sad or anxious regularly
  • disconnecting or withdrawing from others
  • increased use of nicotine, alcohol, and caffeine

What are the pain points for business?

Employee burnout: Small businesses often have limited resources and staff, leading to increased workloads and responsibilities. This can contribute to employee burnout, affecting their mental and physical health and reducing their effectiveness.

High stress levels: The pressure to succeed, meet targets, and handle various aspects of the business can lead to high stress levels among both owners and employees. Chronic stress can impact decision-making, creativity, and overall job satisfaction.

Lack of work-life balance: Small business owners and employees often wear multiple hats, blurring the lines between work and personal life. This lack of balance can lead to exhaustion and negatively impact mental and physical health.

Limited resources for support: Small businesses might lack the resources to offer comprehensive mental health support programs. This can leave employees without proper resources to cope with stress, anxiety, and other mental health challenges.

Communication challenges: In smaller teams, poor communication can lead to misunderstandings, conflicts, and increased stress. Open and effective communication channels are essential for a healthy work environment.

Uncertain financial situation: The financial instability that some small businesses experience can create anxiety and uncertainty among both owners and employees, impacting their overall wellbeing.

Lack of awareness: Small businesses might not fully understand the importance of mental health and the potential impact on productivity and success. This lack of awareness can hinder the implementation of effective wellbeing initiatives.

Employee retention and engagement: Small businesses rely heavily on their team’s expertise. If employees are unhappy, stressed, or burnt out, it can lead to turnover and reduced engagement, affecting the continuity and growth of the business.

Resistance to change: Introducing new policies or programs related to mental health and wellbeing might face resistance from traditional or sceptical mindsets prevalent in some small businesses.

Isolation and loneliness: Small business owners, especially sole proprietors, can experience isolation and loneliness, which can take a toll on their mental health.

Why it matters

Recognising mental health & wellbeing challenges in the workplace is so important.

Workplaces rely on employees’ cognitive abilities and their interactions with colleagues.

How well an individual performs within a team dynamic, their ability to connect with customers, and their ability in handling daily challenges are all related to their mental health and overall wellbeing. It comes as no surprise that there are evident connections between the wellness of employees and their productivity and achievements.

When individuals experience mental health struggles, businesses incur the costs of sick leave, staff absences, reduced efficiency, staff turnover, and potentially even workers’ compensation claims.

Furthermore, most individuals spend a substantial amount of time at work, contributing significantly to their identity, personal growth, and lifestyle.

The structure of work, management practices, and the functionality of the work environment can all impact one’s mental health. Generally, a health-focused work environment produces positive effects on individuals’ mental health and overall wellbeing. Comparatively, those engaged in meaningful work, experience mental health levels that are up to four times better than those enduring prolonged unemployment.

It’s desirable for all managers to recognise the pivotal role that mental health plays in shaping overall workplace efficiency. Prioritising and safeguarding employees’ mental health in the workplace becomes crucial in fostering positive wellbeing and optimising performance.

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Frequently asked questions

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