May Mental Health Month: Creating Supportive Workplaces to Foster Mental Well-being
May is a month of blooming flowers and vibrant growth, and it also holds great significance as Mental Health Month. It is an opportune time for businesses and organizations to cultivate open conversations and implement practices that prioritize the mental well-being of their employees.
In this blog, we will explore the importance of recognizing and addressing mental health in the workplace, as well as practical steps that businesses can take to create a supportive environment for their employees.
We’ll also showcase some of the initiatives we’re taking to open the conversation in our own organization and provide our team with access to resources and support.
Managed Solutions Mental Health Week Initiatives
At Managed Solution we work to promote a fun, healthy culture that enables our employees to succeed because they feel safe, happy, and supported.
That is why this month we dedicated an entire week of activities to promote team bonding, highlight the importance of mental health, share available resources, promote self-care, and open a conversation we hope to keep a special focus on beyond the month of May. Check out some of the activities we initiated below!
We kicked off Mental Health Week with a deep breath and a mindful pause. Encouraging our team to explore the following options to boost their mindfulness and mitigate stress.
- Ten-minute meditations
- One-minute mini meditations for those new to the idea of mindfulness or short on time
- Expanding their mindful pauses through our EAP resource: Mindfulness Coach app (along with other free resources!)
Treat Yo Self Tuesday
We took a note from Parks and Rec royalty, Donna and Tom, for Treat Yo Self Tuesday! Where our team entered a spa-day gift card raffle by listing the things they do for self-care, or to simply “treat” themselves.
Feed Your Soul Wednesday
On Wednesday we fostered team bonding and connection through a virtual luncheon hosted on Microsoft Teams. Our team had a blast gathering to share stories, meet new members, and catch up on each other’s daily lives.
Mental Health Day of Action
Thursday was our ‘Mental Health Day of Action’, where we focused on spreading the idea that mental health IS health. We took more time to address the conversation on the importance of mental health and the tangible steps that we can all take to care for ourselves both mentally and physically. We further backed this by sharing more mental health resources offered to our employees and guiding them to places or personnel they could reach to access them.
Friday Afternoon Move & Groove
We finished big with a virtual dance party on Friday. It may sound silly but sometimes letting your team know that they’re safe to let loose and be themselves can be a great way to promote mental health.
Professionalism is of course important, but people are people at the end of the day, and knowing you’re free to bust out the sprinkler amongst your team can serve as a fun mood booster. At least, it sure did for us!
Acknowledging the Importance of Mental Health
Mental health is an integral part of overall well-being, and businesses have a vital role to play in acknowledging and addressing this reality. By recognizing that mental health impacts employees' productivity, job satisfaction, and overall quality of life, organizations can foster an environment where individuals feel valued and supported.
Creating Open Conversations
Encouraging open conversations about mental health is a cornerstone of creating a supportive workplace. Businesses can take proactive steps to destigmatize mental health by:
Use internal communications, newsletters, or workshops to educate employees about mental health issues, symptoms, and available resources. Share personal stories and testimonials to foster empathy and understanding.
Implementing mental health training
Provide managers and employees with training on mental health awareness, recognizing signs of distress, and supporting colleagues in need. This knowledge empowers individuals to offer appropriate support and creates a culture of empathy and compassion.
Establishing support networks
Encourage the formation of employee resource groups or support networks focused on mental health. These safe spaces allow individuals to share experiences, seek guidance, and build a community of understanding.
Implementing Supportive Practices
In addition to creating open conversations, organizations can implement practical measures that prioritize the mental well-being of their employees. Check out some of the examples we have listed below:
Flexible work arrangements
Offer flexible working hours, remote work options, or compressed work weeks to promote work-life balance and reduce stress. Flexibility empowers employees to manage their mental health effectively while fulfilling their professional responsibilities.
Employee assistance programs (EAPs)
Collaborate with mental health professionals to establish EAPs that provide confidential counseling, therapy, and resources for employees seeking support. These programs ensure that employees have access to professional help when needed.
Introduce wellness initiatives such as yoga or meditation classes, mindfulness workshops, or access to wellness apps. Encouraging physical activity and stress reduction techniques can significantly contribute to employees' mental well-being.
Encouraging time off
Emphasize the importance of taking regular vacations, mental health days, and sick leave without guilt or stigma. Encourage employees to prioritize self-care and model this behavior from leadership positions.
There’s no perfect way to talk about mental health. The important thing is to talk about it in a way that’s authentic to your organization. Mental Health Month presents an invaluable opportunity for businesses and organizations to foster an environment that prioritizes the mental well-being of their employees.
By creating open conversations, implementing supportive practices, and recognizing the importance of mental health, businesses can nurture a workplace where individuals feel valued, supported, and empowered to thrive both professionally and personally. Together, let us embrace the journey toward a mentally healthy and resilient workforce.
- If you're struggling, don't wait - contact emergency support at 988 anytime!
- If you struggle with anxiety attacks, try this box breathing technique to help regulate your nervous system.
- Working remotely isn’t always easy, try virtual coworking platforms like Flow Club or Focusmate.
- If you’re an employer or team member wanting to promote a better mental health environment for your team, check out these resources and success stories from the CDC’s website.