In today’s fast-paced work environment, it’s easy to overlook the importance of mental health in the workplace. Sadly, research by Beyond Blue Australia has found that 90% of employees think that mental health is an important issue for businesses, but only 50% believe that their workplace is mentally healthy. Additionally, Australian companies spend an estimated $10 billion a year on stress-related leave for their employees. Clearly, it’s crucial to prioritise workplace wellbeing and take proactive steps towards supporting mental health. In this blog post, we’ll explore the impact of workplace wellbeing on mental health, as well as some practical recommendations for how PR agencies can promote a healthy and supportive work environment. So, whether you’re an employer or an employee, this post is for anyone looking to prioritize mental health in the workplace.

But firstly, what do we mean by the term ‘mental health’? When most people think of mental health, the first thing that comes to mind might be mental health illnesses like depression and anxiety. However, mental health is a broad and multi-dimensional concept that encompasses so much more. At its core, mental health refers to our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It includes how we think, feel, and behave in response to life’s challenges, as well as our ability to form and maintain healthy relationships with others. Mental health is also closely tied to physical health, as the two are interdependent and can influence each other in significant ways. Thus, maintaining good mental health requires a holistic approach that takes into account our physical, emotional, and social needs.

Mental health has a significant impact on the workplace, affecting everything from employee well-being and productivity to organizational culture and bottom-line results. Poor mental health can lead to increased absenteeism, decreased engagement, and reduced work performance. On the other hand, promoting positive mental health in the workplace can lead to increased job satisfaction, improved employee morale, and higher levels of productivity and creativity. By prioritising mental health in the workplace and creating a supportive and inclusive work environment, employers can not only improve employee well-being but also reap the benefits of a more engaged and productive workforce.

So, how can PR agencies ensure that they create a culture that supports employees’ mental health and wellbeing? Here are five insights to help you build a mentally healthy workplace:

1. Create a team culture of psychological safety

Psychological safety is the feeling of being able to speak up and share your thoughts and feelings without fear of judgment or retaliation. Creating a culture of psychological safety in your PR agency can help employees feel more comfortable discussing mental health concerns with their colleagues and managers. To create a culture of psychological safety, make sure that all team members understand that they can voice their concerns and ideas freely, without fear of negative consequences. Encourage open communication and constructive feedback, and foster an environment where everyone feels valued and respected.

2. Provide mental health resources

One of the best ways that PR agencies can support employees’ mental health is to provide them with access to mental health resources. This can include counselling and support, access to mental health professionals, or even a designated mental health space in the workplace. Let employees know that these resources are available to them any time they need support. Additionally, addressing mental health in the workplace can help to reduce stigma and promote open communication about mental health concerns.

3. Introduce mindfulness practices

Introducing mindfulness practices in the workplace can have numerous benefits for both employees and employers. Mindfulness is a practice that involves being present and fully engaged in the current moment, without judgment or distraction. By incorporating mindfulness practices into the workday, employees can reduce stress, increase focus and productivity, and improve overall well-being. PR agencies can introduce mindfulness practices through activities such as guided meditations, yoga classes, or designated quiet spaces for reflection. By prioritising employee well-being and creating a culture that values mindfulness, leaders can cultivate a more resilient and productive workforce.

4. Encourage physical wellbeing as well as mental wellbeing

Encouraging physical wellbeing as well as mental wellbeing is essential for promoting overall health and wellness in the workplace. Physical activity has been shown to have a positive impact on mental health by reducing symptoms of anxiety and depression and improving cognitive function. Encouraging employees to engage in regular physical activity, such as taking a walk during their lunch break or participating in a fitness class, can lead to improved physical health, increased energy, and reduced stress levels. PR agencies can also provide resources to support physical health, such as access to healthy food options, ergonomic workstations, and opportunities for movement throughout the day. By prioritising physical wellbeing alongside mental wellbeing, PR agencies can create a culture that values the holistic health of their employees and promotes a more productive and positive work environment.

In summary, my top 3 tips for promoting mental health at work are:

  1. Create an environment of psychological safety where employees feel free to speak their minds.
  2. Provide mental health resources for team members.
  3. Take a holistic approach to mental health.

Further reading:

If you want to learn more about how to create a culture of wellbeing in the workplace, why not check out the rest of the blogs in our series? Click the links for in-depth blogs on exercise and movement, nutritionwork/life balance, mindfulness and mediation, and organisation.

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By Agent Kath

PR Agency Sydney

PR Agency Sydney

PR Agency Sydney

PR Agency Sydney

PR Agency Sydney

PR Agency Sydney

PR Agency Sydney