This week is Mental Health Awareness week, which in itself is a travesty as this issue should be on front line focus 52 weeks of the year.
Let’s look at it from a work perspective the damage to company business is incredible and yet embarrassingly the majority of companies do nothing about it, they think its an HR issue so this box is ticked.
Personally I don’t think this is an HR issue, the skill sets and qualifications for an HR role and a Mental Health counselling role are very different, in fact they are literally poles apart, so how is this an HR role, how can HR provide and facilitate an adequate service in something they are neither trained for or skilled at?
People who struggle with this issue need two things to be provided, the ability to talk to somebody securely and confidentially who understands and doesn’t judge them, and the time and privacy to do this.
The first point is essential, we all know working environments can be politically charged cess pits, where if you show weakness it will be exploited and this will be your own proverbial “Sword of Damocles” so obviously people are very reluctant to talk about their issues, today the MHF in the UK show that 9% of employees who discuss these type of issues are either fired or disciplined!!
It’s 2021 for christ sake, can you believe that?
So talking internally is a no no, so again HR is ruled our, line managers definitely no, Big Boss no chance, colleagues, maybe yes maybe no.
The second issue was the privacy and time for this, remote working today is obviously very common place so this can meet this demand and counselling sessions can be conducted on line.
If you are still working in your office it could be facilitated during your commute or your lunch break, securely conducted from your mobile, tablet or lap top.
There used to be an old adage about the difference between the USA and the UK, it went something like, “whatever happens in the USA will follow into the UK 5-10 years later”
It’s not quite that today, in the Mental health areas the USA have plenty of providers that can assist companies in facilitating this service.
In the UK we have mindberry.com who offer an excellent service with over 40 highly qualified professionals to help employees and employer alike, the benefits to both are incredible, if you really want to care about your teams wellbeing and value them, then mindberry.com is the perfect vehicle for you.
Please employer, don’t overload HR, don’t see them as the box tickers, they already have too much valuable work to do ensuring the continuity of your operation, provide them with the tools they need to enable full mental wellbeing for everybody involved, show them how much you care and value them.
Imagine a potential employee reading about your company, a genuine environment that cares for employees, that talks the talks and then walks the walk, surely this will attract the finest and allow you to keep the finest.
How do you want your organisation to be spoken of regarding mental health awareness in the workplace?
Is this just another box to be ticked, or do you truly care.?