Role of HR in supporting mental well-being at work

Mental health in the workplace is an important aspect. It is of growing importance across many organizations, and many of them are taking practical steps to promote the mental well-being of their staff. Mental health is also one of the crucial health issues that affect both employee and business performance.

When it comes to mental health, there is a deep-rooted stigma associated with it that makes it the biggest hindrance to solving. Many people shy away from discussing mental health and to promote the well-being of active consciousness. This stigma needs to be abolished to encourage productivity in organizations and workplaces. Healthy businesses and organizations need resilient employees, and at present, there is an ever-increasing awareness of the need to educate, identify as well as support workers with mental health issues. 

Mental Health in the Workplace

However, as organizations put mental health on their well-being program agenda, approaches to put this in practice remain inconsistent. Many organizations focus only on stress and implement stress management courses. However, mental well-being has more to it than stress; it is only a part.

Employee Wellbeing at work

Employee Wellbeing at work

 

The HR department should be the ones to broach the topic and develop a culture of deep trust among the employees. Understanding from the executive department would be a problem, as employees often hide their feelings and emotions from their peers. This is out of fear of discrimination and shame in the workplace that people don’t express their concerns and mental issues.  Also, managers at any level often lack the training to handle employees who face mental health issues. The HR department should encourage workplace cultures where people can be themselves, and can freely talk about their mental health concerns without any inhibitions and fear. 

Recognize the importance of mental well-being

The first step is to recognize the importance of the mental well-being of the employees and to create a workplace culture of understanding and support. Only implementing programs and courses of mental well-being isn’t sufficient; there should be a supporting part of the ethical business culture too. It is also essential to stop differentiating between the physical and psychological health of a person. Often the causes of both aspects are common, and solutions are almost the same. As such, factors like exercise, adequate sleep, proper diet and hydration, and developing an integrated approach to work and life work for both. But there should also be a proactive approach to mental health and to developing personal and collective resilience for better mental well-being. 

It is true that despite all these efforts, some employees will still develop mental health problems, but an open and honest approach to mental health with allow them to come forward and accept the specialist support services by the organization. 

Workplace Culture

Initiate and support a workplace culture that embraces health in all aspects and doesn’t differentiate mental health and physical health at any costs. This will encourage the employees of mental health issues to come forward without any fear of discrimination. HR department should work towards eradicating the stigma attached to mental well-being.

Mental Health Resilience

Initiate mental health resilience for everyone in the training programs. This will give strength to the employees to prioritize their mental health and work towards improving it. 

Effective Communications

The HR department should encourage open and honest conversations among employees and also with the managerial staff. The managers should be genuine and available to the workers who seek to express their mental health concerns and seek guidance. Train the managers to detect when the employees are failing or facing a mental health problem. They should be empathetic, have supportive conversations with the employees and refer to professional help when required.

Holistic approach

Impart holistic lifestyle awareness and support programs available in the organization for the employees. These programs should aim at initiating exercise, sleep awareness, sound nutritional advice, stress regulatory guidelines, social interactions, and to develop a culture where round the clock communications are available. 

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Diana Coker
Diana Coker
Diana Coker is a staff writer at The HR Digest, based in New York. She also reports for brands like Technowize. Diana covers HR news, corporate culture, employee benefits, compensation, and leadership. She loves writing HR success stories of individuals who inspire the world. She’s keen on political science and entertains her readers by covering usual workplace tactics.

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