Investing in Employee Mental Health - World Mental Health Day
To recognise World Mental Heath Day our Senior Technical Writer Sarah Jordan looks at how Aphix is already investing in employee well being and how we can all do more
It is World Mental Health Day on Saturday October 10th 2020. The theme for this year is “Mental health for all – greater investment – greater access. Everyone, everywhere.”
Let’s get back to basics - what is mental health? For me, having positive mental health means coping well with stress, being able to balance good and bad things, and being able to fulfil my potential. It affects my emotional, psychological and social well-being. It means that I can contribute to my family, to my community and to my workplace to the best of my ability.
According to the World Federation for Mental Health (WFMH), mental health is a human right for everyone. Is that the reality though? The WFMH selected this year’s theme to shine a light on the current inequality of access to mental health help when and how people need it. When I initially read the theme, I thought: more money (investment) is needed to make mental health services available. This is a truism, but investment can take many forms.
We can all invest in taking time to learn about mental health conditions, and how to support both ourselves and people who have mental health challenges. This means a time investment, but not a financial investment. We can all take a minute and ask ourselves, our partner, or our team-mate how they are, and really listen to the answer. Again, time investment, but no money!
Companies can also make this time investment, by being concerned about their employees well-being and by providing a work environment that allows their employees to manage their work and other commitments in a safe, mentally healthy way.
This is important all the time, but especially during this pandemic, since creating such an environment reduces the chance of employees becoming isolated, unmotivated and suffering from mental health challenges.
Maintaining a team’s well-being and engagement is difficult, crucial and requires a massive time investment. So, mental health for all? Everyone, everywhere?
You may have seen some of Aphix “Getting to know our team” videos recently (if not, have a look on our youtube channel). One of the questions is “What is the best part of working for Aphix?”. The answer from employees is its culture, and the support and friendship of everyone that works there. Aphix cares about its employees.
Since March, we have been working remotely most of the time. Since then, we’ve had running challenges, virtual cooking classes and regular updates to celebrate employees’ work anniversaries. We have a Slack channel to recognise team members’ exceptional work. Last month, Aphix went gold to highlight Childhood Cancer Awareness month because it is important to one of our team members.
As importantly, a system was put in place to check-in each fortnight via an online survey as to how we were doing, and to share suggestions that would help us become more engaged. These surveys have been analysed and actions put in place to improve employee engagement, and thus employee’s well-being. An engaged worker is a more content worker, and a worker that may have less work-related mental health challenges.
Aphix has been investing in this year’s World Health Day’s theme of investing in good mental health for their employees, possibly without even realising it, but we can always do more and will continue to do so.
It is time for you to ask yourself - what are you doing to support those with mental health challenges who currently don’t have access to services? How can you, as an individual or as a company, support the vision of this year’s World Mental Health Day? Mental health for all, everyone, everywhere.
Our mental health is too important not to talk about. Let’s keep the conversation going.