Today we celebrate WORLD MENTAL HEALTH DAY 2022 with the rest of the globe. This year, the theme is “Make mental health & well-being for all a global priority.”
In the workplace, Well-being initiatives have skyrocketed in the past 3 years ushered in by the pandemic. Ranging from COVID response and prevention measures to Employee Assistance Programs to webinars and many other practices. For some Companies, it is under the ambit of fun and events, just as it was in its earlier days in the workplace; whilst other Companies have taken it seriously and even making well-being a part of their bigger global (or local) strategies and execution framework.
However, despite this, according to the State of the Global Workplace: 2022 Report by Gallup, only 21% employees are engaged at work and only 33% of employees are thriving in their overall well-being. This was from an analysis of 112,312 business units in 96 countries.
Now why it that? Or is it because while wellness programs abound, some (most?) mental health and well-being initiatives are merely token programs?
So, then, what can we do?
The COVID-19 pandemic has created a global crisis for mental health, fueling short- and long-term stresses and undermining the mental health of millions. Estimates put the rise in both anxiety and depressive disorders at more than 25% during the first year of the pandemic. At the same time, mental health services have been severely disrupted and the treatment gap for mental health conditions has widened.World Health Organization
How can we prioritize Mental Health and Well-being?
Walk the Talk
No other way to champion well-being than to actually practices it. It’s one thing to say, wellness is important, yet another to be seen prioritizing wellness in his or her own life. Coach Chot makes for a great example here. He talks about wellness, himself as an award-winning basketball coach. And every day on his Instagram page, Coachot, he showcases wellness practices with his wife and their family. Well, we are not all as famous as Coach Chot so we do not necessarily need to post our workout and other wellness routines on social media, but it is important we do it and other people see it in us, e.g. declining some engagements to spend time with family or going home to family – parents or grandparents for greater connectness for social and mental wellness, or simply living a healthy and eating healthy.
Share how you Feel
Talk about your wellness state, although I recognize how very difficult this seems in the beginning. But someone has to start, and you will soon realize that only by talking about it are you really able to seek better help. Also, it allows you to be vulnerable. In the past, being vulnerable is a no-no, but today, it is actually important to let others in, via vulnerability, for everybody’s psychological safety. This is true especially for leaders. And for leaders, it is important to consider your employees’ wellness states in crafting engagement programs and in planning connect sessions with your teams. Most companies have HR practitioners who are very well equipped in designing wellness or engagement programs so leverage and partner with them.
Integrate Well-being in Everything that you Do
From when you sleep, to when you eat, to when you speak with others and how you preside meetings or decide on your deliverables for the day. In everything that we do everyday, we can integrate well-being. It lies in the everyday choices. What time will I sleep? How will I begin my day? Which do I eat? Do I have to attend all these meetings? Can I be on my treadmill or stationary/desk bike while attending this call? How truly mindful am I towards my coworkers/my team? Do I have enough rest and sleep? Do I prioritize those that are truly important for me?
Now, it’s your turn. How would you answer these questions?
Don’t wait for the government or your Company to create mental health and well-being for you (athough, they have stakes, too, see this article on Where Wellness Programs Fail). Start it in your own life with what’s within your power and practice it everyday.
Other related articles:
PREVENT BURNOUT IN 5 EASY STEPS
3 WELLBEING PRACTICES FOR REMOTE WORKERS
IDEAS FROM 7 INSPIRING INDIVIDUALS ON SECONDARY SOURCE OF INCOME
MENTAL HEALTH AWARENESS: KEEP ON ROLLING WITH VIC FLAUTA (PART 1)
MENTAL HEALTH AWARENESS: KEEP ON ROLLING WITH VIC FLAUTA (PART 2)
10 FINANCIAL WELLNESS TIPS FOR THE CORPORATE NEWBIES
SAFETY AND HEALTH IN THE WORKPLACE