Mental health is no longer just a buzzword or talking point. It is now increasingly recognized as an urgent public health issue and human rights issue that requires immediate action. In fact, the World Health Organization has classified mental illness as the leading cause of disability globally, with 260 million people living with a mental illness in 2017. The prevalence of mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, eating disorders, and substance use disorders continues to rise among young adults and adolescents in particular. To address this growing crisis and get a handle on the situation before it gets even worse, many companies are now adopting holistic mental health strategies at their offices. But what exactly does holistic mental health mean? And how can your company adopt it? Keep reading to find out!
A holistic approach to mental health is any strategy that takes a person’s mental health into account as a whole. This means that the company is looking at your mental health from every possible angle — emotionally, socially, and even physically. A holistic approach doesn’t treat mental health as a siloed phenomenon rather, it is an attempt to look at mental health in the context of a person’s life. This means taking into account factors like the workplace environment, a person’s social life, and their home life.
The first step towards being proactive about your employees’ mental health is to get a handle on just how widespread mental health issues are within the company. It’s not enough to just ask people about their general mental health — you also need to ask them about their stress levels, sleep schedule, and diet. To do this, you can conduct virtual check-ins with your employees, or you can use an app that tracks things like sleep, diet, mood, and level of stress. For example, you can create a Slackbot that asks your employees how they’re feeling at the start of every day. Or you can use an app like Mynd to track employees’ moods, sleep, and diet.
The first step towards being proactive about employee wellness is to create a culture of mental health awareness within your company. This means that you are constantly talking about the importance of mental health in the company, and you are encouraging your employees to look for ways to better their mental health. You also have to be careful about the way you talk about mental health — make sure you’re not stigmatizing or pathologizing any particular form of mental health. For example, you can create a company policy that allows your employees to take time off for their mental health. You can also institute a free therapy program, where you pay for your employees to have therapy from certified therapists.
The first step towards being proactive about physical health is to institute a flexible work schedule. This will ensure that your employees are getting enough rest and aren’t overworked. You can also institute a wellness program at the office, where your employees can attend yoga classes, or participate in other activities that promote physical health. Part of being physically healthy also involves taking care of your employees’ diets. For example, you can offer your employees gluten-free meals, or meals that are vegan or healthy.
Mental health should not be seen as something separate from physical health and wellness. Instead, it is something that affects the whole person — and it should be treated as such. The best way to achieve this is by adopting a holistic approach to mental health and wellness. If you are in charge of managing a team of people, or if you work in human resources, it is important to be aware of the ever-growing importance of mental health. Awareness is just the first step — you have to actually do something about it. With this article, we hope to have provided you with all the information you need to implement a holistic approach to mental health at your office.