What is a Mentally Healthy Workplace?
Many of my clients say that having a mentally healthy workplace sounds like a good idea, yet they struggle to know what exactly this looks like. So let me explain ...
Perhaps it's easiest to start with what a mentally healthy workplace is not.
- It most certainly is not having all staff seeing counsellors on a regular basis.
- It does not mean managers need to ‘fix’ an employee’s mental health condition.
- It's definitely not a workplace that merely provides fresh fruit and free yoga classes for all the staff.
A mentally healthy workplace is an environment where everyone can thrive and be at their best.
It's about employees knowing that if they are struggling, they can put their hand up and ask for help without fear of discrimination or judgement.
A mentally healthy workplace is one where people want to come to work. A place where people look after themselves and look out for others in the workplace.
A mentally healthy workplace has a positive culture that supports people with mental health conditions appropriately, minimises workplace risks related to mental health and one where stigma and discrimination are reduced – even eliminated.
Consider for a moment that when we talk about a physically safe workplace, we're not just providing a workplace that accommodates physical disabilities and illnesses.
Similarly, a mentally healthy workplace is not one that is just designed just for people with mental health conditions.
Most importantly a mentally healthy workplace is one where there is no distinction made between physical and mental health.
In the same way that an employee would most likely not feel embarrassed to return to work and tell people they had had their appendix removed in surgery, a mentally healthy workplace is one where no one would be embarrassed or ashamed to say they are currently struggling with an anxiety condition.
How mentally healthy is your workplace?
It's vital the employers understand the psychosocial risks to mental health and that they are doing their utmost to provide a psychologically safe workplace for all employees.
If you want to know how psychologically safe your workplace is, click here to access your free copy of my Workplace Psychological Safety Assessment Tool.You may just save a life.