World Mental Health day is set to be observed on October 10th. The current global pandemic has ushered an extended period of uncertainty and with it brings fear, anxiety, and distress to many people. The recent Netflix documentary ‘Social Dilemma’ highlights the adverse impact modern technology and social media are having on our psychological well being. Approximately one in five (20%) Australians and New Zealanders aged 16-85 years old experience a mental illness in any year. Suicide is also the leading cause of death for Australians aged 25-44. The topic of mental health has never been so relevant.
A shift in attitude and awareness is essential to address these alarming statistics. The workplace is one of the key environments that affect our mental wellbeing. For the worker, it provides routine, structure, purpose, social interaction, social identity, and regular activity. It can also provide an excellent platform to educate and increase healthy self-care practices.
This year, the World Health Organisation’s objective for Mental Health Day is to kickstart a massive scale up in invested effort towards mental health. Your workplace can play an integral role by encouraging your worker to adopt the following self-care behaviours:
- Regular exercise can boost your self-esteem and can help you concentrate, sleep, and feel better. This can be encouraged by holding fitness challenges, gym access or a social work sports team.
- In short, mindfulness improves the ability to train and control our attention. Encourage your workplace to listen to guide podcasts, there are plenty out there.
Avoid Alcohol and recreational drugs
- When in nature, people may experience a more positive mood and better cognitive function.
- Humans are designed to be constantly interacting with each other. Your brain rewards socialisation. Promote in services, weekly meetings or work events to encourage this.
Eat Healthy and stay hydrated
Prioritise Sleep Hygiene
- Attempt to routinely sleep at the same time each night, avoid screens 30 minutes before bed.
Encouraging these behaviours is a good start but there is still a long way to go to reach an acceptable standard of prevention. Engaging the workplace to understand more about individual beliefs and perceptions is crucial to understanding exactly what drives underlying culture of the workplace. After gaining this understanding more targeted interventions can be applied that are specific to the workers needs and mental well-being. An onsite physiotherapy presence, such as an Employ Health – Health Hub, is perfectly positioned to assist in ensuring the right interventions are applied for your workplace.
Reference: LAYMHA. (2020). Retrieved 2 October 2020, from https://lookafteryourmentalhealthaustralia.org.au/