A new survey has revealed that one in four workers have received no support for their mental health from their employers during the pandemic. People Management Magazine reports on the findings, from a poll by Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) England.
The social enterprise organisation asked 2,000 workers about their experience during the Covid-19 crisis. 25% of respondents said that no one from their workplace had checked on their mental health since the onset of the pandemic, and 29% had never spoken with their line manager about their mental health.
43% of those surveyed said their support system remained unchanged or worsened, and just 32% said that mental health and wellbeing support had improved. 41% said wellbeing check-ins were less frequent or didn’t happen at all.
MHFA England has called for employers to step up their level of support for workers, by organising regular wellbeing check-ups, encouraging activities to promote connection, and better training and resources for managers.
Andy Bell, the deputy chief executive of the Centre for Mental Health, said:
“Isolation, anxiety, loss and trauma are affecting millions of people as a result of Covid-19, and this will affect every workplace in the country. Mental health problems cost businesses £35bn in the UK before Covid-19. It’s likely that will grow this year as a result of what many of us have experienced over the last 12 months.”
Most adults will spend about a third of their time at work, so it is very important that mental health should be discussed and supported without judgement in this sphere. After all, every individual with good mental health contributes to the overall wealth and cultural vibrancy of our society.
There are some steps employees, and indeed everyone, can take so they have greater control over their own wellbeing. In an ideal world, these strategies should be fully supported by managers, but as the survey shows, this isn’t always the case, whether through lack of time, training, or because of the wider company culture.
A regular exercise routine can help to release endorphins in the brain and increase levels of self-esteem. It will also leave you physically tired, which helps you to sleep more soundly. Better sleep leads to improved levels of concentration and boosts your mood throughout the day. Exercise can be as simple as cleaning the house, or taking a lunchtime walk.
Eating a well-balanced diet can also have a long-term effect on your mental health. Your brain needs nutrients from a range of sources, including lots of different types of fruit and vegetables, nuts and seeds, dairy products, wholegrains, and oily fish. Avoiding too much caffeine, sugar, and alcohol will also help your body and mind function well.
Many people already take good care with their diet and exercise, but still experience symptoms of stress, anxiety, or depression. If this sounds familiar, you may benefit from talking to an online therapist about your concerns, or learning some mindful therapy and breathing techniques. If you would like to find out more, get in touch with us today.