Did you know that one-quarter of adults in the UK live with a mental health disorder each year? Despite the increased willingness of people to speak of their own mental health challenges, mental health is still stigmatised.
Many people with mental health problems suffer in silence due to the stigma attached to speaking about their difficulties.
And as mental health affects us all, just like physical health, it’s important that we understand what it is. That we all have mental health, both good and bad.
Understanding what it is, how it manifests, what triggers it, the mechanisms, tools and techniques to improve mental health, or communicate about mental health, or help others going through those issues, is vital to healthy interpersonal relationships and to businesses themselves.
The 5 Areas Model
Starting with the 5 Areas Model, we can begin to see the basics of mental health and what influences it. The 5 Areas Model is a simple framework that breaks down the core factors of what contributes to our mental health and allows individuals to build coping mechanisms to tackle poor mental health.
The 5 areas are:
- The environment, such as our home, our school or where we work
- Our thoughts, and how what think negatively or positively impacts upon mental health
- Physical health and its contribution as part of an interlinked relationship with mental health
- How our behaviours and what we do impact us
- And finally, how our emotions play upon mental health
This model shows how our environment, emotions, thoughts, behaviours and physical health are all interlinked, which influences our mental health.
Understanding these factors and how they are linked can help us to plan out, or map out, where issues are likely to lie, which can lead to greater knowledge about how to resolve some of the issues we face. The model is useful in that it helps us break larger problems down into smaller chunks, showing us that what was once overwhelming can seem much more manageable.
Many of these factors play out in our everyday working lives. Business contributes to these factors in so many ways, and the impacts upon business of poor mental health can be great.
How Mental Health Impacts Business
Poor mental health can have serious impacts to a business. It is estimated that 70 million business days are lost due to poor mental health. While around £1 in £8 spent on physical health conditions is linked to supporting mental health conditions.
So much time is lost to poor mental health in terms of productivity and output that it seems a no-brainer to make changes to the way we support mental health.
And the benefits are huge! Three in five employees said that if their employer took action to support wellbeing that they would feel more loyal, committed and motivated in their work.
Simple steps like offering flexible working and generous annual leave are proven ways to support wellbeing.
How Businesses Can Support Mental Health and Wellbeing
For organisations looking to support individuals and teams in building better mental health, with positives that bring in relation to productivity, absenteeism and presenteeism, and overall worker health, there are a variety of solutions that they can reach for.
- Invite regular speaks to discuss mental health and wellbeing, either virtually or face-to-face (in the post-pandemic world!)
- Create a mental health induction to signpost staff to support programs
- Raise awareness of mental health issues through digital noticeboards, newsletter and other internal communications channels
- Online mental health training
- Create mental health champions
- Try and promote dialogue and engagement with your plan, and ensure mental health awareness is promoted right to the board level!
Cardinus has developed a new mental health awareness course that brings in the latest thinking around mental health, wellbeing and wellness in the innovative Healthy Working platform. Try a demo of this course today and see how it can help your team. Click the link for more info, or alternatively, email [email protected], or call 020 7469 0200.