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How does your mental health influence your work performance?

Mental Health in the Workplace

Most likely you’ve heard about or discussed the topic of mental health online or with trusted family and friends, but how can mental health influence your performance at work? Many in the UK are faced with the effects of mental health issues in their daily lives but are also forced to face those challenges in the workplace. There is no uniform identity for mental health issues, and how those issues affect a person differ greatly - sometimes resulting in a variety of obstacles that can hinder the potential success for many. Unfortunately employees who are faced with the immense challenge of delivering positive results for a company along with confronting a mental health disorder often find themselves thinking that they are left to face the uphill battle alone.  

Through researching a number of recent national council surveys and reports, findcourses.co.uk has pulled some of the most prominent details and efforts that affect the UK workforce.

Take a look at findcourses.co.uk’s  infographic below to learn more on the signs of poor mental health and the influences that are prevalent in the workplace.

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Mental Health in the Workplace

The negative effects that mental health can bring about in one's daily life are constant challenges and personal endeavours that simply cannot be put aside, most certainly once they play a large influence on a person's professional performance. 

Thankfully the efforts of many in the UK seek to bring about a better understanding and support system in the workplace for both employees and management in order to properly assess and aid in the efforts of bettering one’s mental health. The outlook for those in the UK workforce is positive, while both employers and employees are becoming more proactive with speaking to one another about mental health issues and how to combat the negative influence those can have on work performance.

Know the Facts:

As reported in the House of Commons Briefing Paper, Mental health statistics for England, it is estimated that one in six people experienced a common mental disorder like depression or anxiety in the past week. The commonality of mental health problems that is growing in the UK has delivered the highest number of fit notes issued to employers by GPs in recent years due to mental health issues. In the last year, GPs have seen a 13.5% increase in fit notes issued as a result of mental health needs, forcing both employers and employees to assess their mental health more readily. Depression is the most commonly reported diagnosis in the workplace, resulting in 21% of employees sighting that they have been formally diagnosed. The workplace has the capability to cause a number of work-related mental health problems, but also has the capacity to support employees with the proper resources and aid.

Signs of poor mental health:

  • Poor concentration
  • Absenteeism
  • Overwhelmed by daily tasks
  • Irritability and aggression
  • Avoiding social activities
  • Change in sleeping habits
  • Anxious feelings
  • Difficulty in decision making
  • Lack of energy

There is no uniform identity for mental health issues, but how those issues affect a person differs greatly, sometimes resulting in cases of stress, lack of motivation, and increased feelings of anxiety with difficulty in project management.

The effects on your job performance:

Regardless of the symptoms of poor mental health, many in the UK are faced to handle the effects of absenteeism, burnout, and lack in motivation. The current UK workforce is on the right route to positively combating mental health disorders, but still has a ways to go.The Mental Health Foundation sites the following steps to aid in improving your mental health:

Talk about your feelings

-Voice how you’re feeling (both positively and negatively) to family and friends, as

well as your employer

Keep active

-Exercise regularly to boost your motivation, sleep, and concentration

Eat well

-Maintain a balanced diet. A diet that is good for your physical health is also good for your mental health

Drink Sensibly

-Be careful if alcohol regularly influences your mood or behavior in any situation, especially in work functions

Keep in touch

-Relationships are key to your mental health. Both personal and work relationships with fellow colleagues and your management.

Ask for help

-We all need help sometimes, and shying away from seeking help only prolongs the negative effects that mental health can have on your life. Your employer may have an employee assistance programme and will remain entirely confidential.

Take a break

-Employee burnout is one of the most results of poor mental health in the workplace, so if you are feeling overwhelmed, unmotivated, and stressed, talk with your employer about utilizing mental health days, or an extended period of time out of office.

Do something you’re good at

-Enjoy an activity that you can lose yourself in! Beat stress by fully achieving something that you have confidence in.

Accept who you are

-You are not alone in the battle to beat mental health. Accept the differences in your life and being that make you unique.

Care for others

-Knowing how poor mental health has influenced your life can lead to you helping others in assessing their own needs. Be a caring listener if someone shares their struggles with you, and if you’re comfortable with it, share your experiences.

The efforts of many in the UK seek to bring about a better understanding and support system in the workplace for both employees and management in order to properly assess and aid in the efforts of bettering one’s mental health.

Take action now:

Recently published in Business in the Community’s Mental Health at Work Report 2017, line managers in the UK shared that “a third of managers are uncertain on how to respond to complex mental health conditions” but included that “49% of line managers would welcome basic mental health training, and access to information and guidance online,” so as to better help their employees who are facing a mental health disorder.

The outlook for those in the UK workforce is positive, while both employers and employees are becoming more proactive with speaking to one another about mental health issues and how to combat the negative influence those can have on work performance.

Last updated: 19 Sep 2018

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