Managing mental Health and Wellness at Work

Mental health and wellness problems at work are increasing daily and this comes as no surprise. There is a strong relationship between workplace stress and poor mental health, however, it is often neglected as a key aspect of employee health.

Four in five employees in Nigeria are at an increased risk of developing mental health issues.


The 2019 Nigeria Workplace Mental Health Survey by WellNewMe and Dennis Ashley Med


The above study comes as no surprise at all, considering the high level of job insecurity most employees face, toxic work environment, tough targets, and stress that take a physical and mental toll on employees. Hence, managing mental health and wellness at the workplace cannot be overemphasized because in the end a healthy workforce results in high productivity and everyone wins.


Steps to creating an environment that promotes Mental Health and Wellness at Work

1. Create a flexible work environment

The first step in creating an environment that promotes health and improves workplace health is to create a flexible working environment. Set time boundaries for when employees work and when they should be off from work.

To feel comfortable creating personal boundaries between work and home, employees need to see this from the leadership. Leadership can set expectations by working reasonable hours, offering paid time off, and allowing remote work.

2. Encourage communication

Encourage communication with and among staff. Be approachable and free for the employees to meet you for discussions about their work or health. Health and wellness ideas are one thing, but implementing them that work for employees is another.

This is why they need to feel empowered to speak up. Having an open-door policy and regularly checking in with the staff will aid in encouraging communication among the staff. This will help employees feel comfortable telling you when they’re beginning to feel stressed out.

3. Educate line managers

Helping your employees learn to manage their stress will also go a long way in managing health and wellness at work. It’s important to educate line managers and employees on how to recognise when they or their colleagues are showing stressed-out signs. Encourage them to rest, take a walk or take breaks during work.

Role of Employees in Mental Health and Wellness at Work

Employees also have a role to play in managing mental health and wellness at work.

1. Know when to take a break

Employees need to know when to take a break. Since work can be overwhelming sometimes, it’s important to understand when to slow down. Sometimes a break for a breath of fresh air, reading a book, or just taking a nap can go a long way to improving health and wellbeing at work.

2. Inform your colleagues & superiors

It’s crucial to inform the appropriate officials at work about any mental or physical issues. Despite the fact that it can sometimes be exhausting to complain about health issues to your manager or boss, it is equally important to remember that they can’t help unless they are aware of the situation or health issue. A one-on-one conversation with the HR manager can go a long way toward encouraging a healthy work environment.

3. Maintain work life balance

Maintaining a work-life balance is paramount to improving an overall health and well-being environment at work. Make time for personal pursuits as well as work. Consider taking a personal development course to focus your mind on something interesting. Organize fun activities on weekends and evenings too!

Take a break and meet up with friends and family. If you can, take a holiday or short break. A new hobby can be a great way to ease tension and stress, as well. The benefits of doing these things will include a stronger sense of happiness, purpose, and meaning in work.

Employers, as well as employees, benefit from investing in good mental health and wellness. Employees are essential to achieving productivity, and their mental health cannot be overlooked in the drive for success.

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