Encouraging Mental Health Awareness: How to Support New Employees from Day One
Here are three ways employers can reduce the stigma around mental health and make an impact on employees right away.
- By Elizabeth Fletcher
- May 25, 2023
Our jobs are a key part of our lives, with a large portion of our waking hours spent working. Therefore, starting a new role is a big change and can be daunting, even if it’s for the best. It’s important for businesses to recognize this and ensure they promote mental health awareness to every new hire, ensuring they feel valued and supported during this process.
By implementing strategies to promote mental health awareness from the very beginning, employers can help to mitigate some of the stress and worries that come with starting a new role. This can allow the employee to be more productive by spending their working hours concentrating on learning rather than worrying about potential judgment. In this article, we explore some of the ways that employers can encourage mental health awareness and reduce the stigma.
Make Resources Available During Onboarding
During the onboarding process, it’s important to make new employees aware of any mental health resources that are available to them alongside any company policies on the subject. This could include company coaches, assistance programs and any counselling that’s available.
If your company doesn’t currently have many mental health resources in place, consider looking into any services available that can offer your employees some additional support. It’s not only beneficial for the employee, but it can also boost their productivity, so make sure to promote these resources from the beginning. This can help to set a positive tone and demonstrates that mental health is a priority for the business.
Promote Taking Mental Health Days
Due to the pressures of everyday life, it’s not uncommon for employees to experience feelings of burnout. This can be a particular concern when starting a new job, as the onboarding and training process can be quite mentally draining.
Therefore, it can be helpful to encourage your employees to take mental health days. The purpose of taking a mental health day is to give employees a break from work, allowing them to focus solely on themselves without any other commitments. It can be highly beneficial to promote this within a business, as they typically return with a renewed mindset which could lead to an increase in productivity.
Provide Managers with Mental Health Training
Managers play a crucial role in promoting mental health awareness. Providing them with training on how to recognize signs of mental struggles can help them to intervene early on, offering an opportunity to discuss the issue without any judgment. It’s also important to ensure managers know how to respond in an empathetic way, as coming off too brash can discourage employees from coming to them in the future.
In order to support open discussions, it can be helpful to enforce an open-door policy for managers. This allows new employees to discuss anything that’s bothering them without having to organize a formal meeting, helping to make it less intimidating.
The subject of mental health often comes with a stigma attached to it, so it’s important to work to combat it. The only way to recover from mental health issues is to confront them head-on, which is made difficult if people feel ashamed. By creating a supportive and open environment, businesses can help to foster a culture that prioritizes mental health.
Elizabeth Fletcher believes that good communication and collaboration are key to a happy working life. Elizabeth writes posts designed to help businesses and employees to come together and create a productive, healthy workplace.