How to create a mental health-friendly work environment

According to the World Health Organization report, the most common mental health problems are anxiety disorders and mood disorders. Depression is the most common mental illness in Spain, with nearly 3 million people diagnosed. In a business environment, focusing on mental health and ensuring the emotional well-being of employees by creating a healthier and more mindful work environment is not only good for people, it is a strategic investment that has an impact on the organization.

Awareness of mental health and the need to pay attention to it and highlight it are fundamental issues in all aspects of our reality. The workplace echoes this, with more and more companies prioritizing the mental well-being of their workers, implementing measures that improve employee conditions and promote a healthy, open and productive work environment as well.

Companies must care about the mental health of their workers by taking measures to improve the well-being of the people who are part of their teams. This will not only help create a healthy and enjoyable work environment, but will also help significantly improve the productivity of the company and its workers. “Teams’ well-being and performance are closely linked to each other, so we must facilitate an inclusive, responsible and calm work environment,” he says. Christine Luce, General Manager of Stimulus. But for this to happen, proactive strategies must be adopted that help build the appropriate climate.

Impact on productivity

Mental health has a significant impact on work productivity. When employees experience mental health issues, it can impact their performance and well-being at work. study DeloitteFor example, it revealed that organizations that prioritize mental health and develop concrete initiatives to protect and promote it receive a six times greater return on investment than those that do not.

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During situations of uncertainty or sudden changes, such as the current global situation, psychosocial risk factors, such as anxiety, social distancing and prolonged quarantine, can impact teams. What measures can organizations take? Stimulus, a company specializing in mental health at work, offers six mental health care measures that impact productivity.

Operating levers

  • Openness and communication. It is necessary to create a work environment that encourages openness and transparent communication between workers and senior management, with the aim of removing the stigma of mental health and the problems it can cause in both the work and personal spheres.
  • Encourage flexibility. Work-life balance should be sought, and flexible working policies should be encouraged, which reduces stress and increases team productivity.
  • Common purpose. Creating a strong team committed to the company is essential for a healthy and open work environment. Creating a common goal will help foster collaboration and engagement. Learning about people's work will improve emotional well-being and company productivity.
  • Resources and support. Although open communication and a healthy work environment are essential, access to resources and emotional support services to care for the team's mental health must also be provided. Companies should offer their employees counseling and therapy programs and support hotlines. All of this is within policies that guarantee the confidentiality of the employee who requests treatment or assistance.
  • Awareness and training. Education and awareness within the team on mental health issues is essential. Training a company's senior management will help prevent, identify and address stress in their teams effectively. Training programs should also be offered to the team, with the aim of raising awareness about mental health, stress management and other challenges that may arise in the workplace.
  • Measurement and monitoring. It is not enough to simply implement mental health programs and policies; they must also be regularly evaluated to ensure they are effective and meet employee needs.
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