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  • Writer's pictureLindsay Johnson

Why is mental health training important in the workplace?

Updated: May 14

And what happens when you don’t prioritize mental health at work.



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1 in 6 workers are currently dealing with a mental problem such as anxiety, depression, or excessive stress, stopping them from performing at their best, says the mental health charity, Mind.


Poor mental health leads to employees taking more sick days, being less productive at work, and increasing their risk of burnout. It can also lead to workplace conflicts and other challenges at and outside of work.


Mental health training at work is important because it helps provide workers with the tools, knowledge, and mechanisms to reduce stress and better take care of their mental health.


This blog post will explain why mental health training is important in the workplace.


Key takeaways: 

  • Poor mental health at works causes more sick days and workplace conflicts 

  • Mental health training and education improved productivity 

  • Upskill  management to recognize signs of poor mental health 


Looking for more actionable tips? Read our how to improve mental health in the workplace guide for employers.



Why is mental health awareness important?


Mental health awareness is important so your employees know how and when to ask for help if needed. 


The more you talk about mental health, whether via health talks or personal experiences, the bigger the step we take to reducing the overall stigma surrounding mental health.


Increasing awareness allows employees to discover habits and behaviors associated with poor mental health. It may also provide a much-needed explanation for some employees as to why they do what they do or how they feel—it can be very cathartic to know that they are not alone.


When your employees prioritize their mental health, they are better capable of dealing with stress and reducing burnout. And not to mention taking better care of themselves!



Benefits of mental health training in the workplace


There are various types of mental health training available. You have the stress and burnout approach, the lens of depression and anxiety, and more specific training surrounding individual conditions such as obsessive-compulsive disorders, depression, eating disorders, generalized anxiety, and more.


Reduced absenteeism 

When employee mental health is prioritized, employees are less likely to call in sick. In fact, according to Mind, 40% of employers reported an increase in staff sickness due to stress in the last 12 months.


Adding stress initiatives and providing employees with the mechanisms and initiatives to recognize and deal with stress will help reduce the number of sick days and total absenteeism at work. 


Improved productivity 

Each year, an estimated 12 billion working days are lost because of depression and anxiety, costing $1 trillion a year in lost productivity, as stated by the World Health Organization. This is supported by Gallup, which found that employees with below-adequate mental health take 4x more sick days.


Even when employees do come to work with existing mental health conditions, if they do not feel comfortable disclosing their problems, then a reduction in productivity will still take place. Prejudice and the stigma surrounding mental health need to be reduced via education, awareness, and mental health training to support the unique needs of your employees. 


A healthier work environment

It’s no surprise that when mental health training and awareness are implemented, most workplaces become healthier and better places to work. 


Increased stress and other mental health issues without effective coping mechanisms can lead to increased conflict between employees. It can also lead to:


  • Lost workdays

  • Higher recruitment costs due to increased staff turnover

  • Lower productivity


The cost of ignoring and not acting on mental health at work only makes problems worse. 



Provide mental health training for managers


Along with mental health education and basic employee training, you should upskill line managers and upper management with proper mental health training.


In particular, your managers should be able to recognize signs of poor mental health and have the tools and systems in place to provide or recommend help to those who need it.


To summarize 

Mental health training in the workplace is a must for all organizations. Failure to provide the correct education, awareness, and training can result in increased sick days and general absenteeism, work conflicts, and increased stress and burnout.


To get started, we suggest providing broad coverage of mental health at work via health talks to all employees. 


Additionally, specialist training should be provided for line managers and other managerial roles so they can recognize signs of poor mental health, signpost what help is available, and help employees get it.




FAQs


Why is mental health important in everyday life?

Mental health is important in everyday life as it allows us to better deal with stress, understand our emotions, and cope with uncertainties and situations. 


Why is self-awareness important in mental health care?

Self-awareness is important in mental health because it allows us to recognize the early signs of deteriorating mental health. The more education and awareness we have, the better we can care for ourselves.


Why is it important to have mental health training?

It is important for managers to have mental health training at work to identify stressors quickly; intervening and signposting help to prevent further destructive behaviors.



Join FitPros live 

At FitPros, we provide workplace wellbeing solutions and activities to help support your employees' health and happiness. We’re trusted by world-leading companies such as Forbes, Grammarly, Tik Tok, and Discord.


We implement Blue Zone habits into our programs, including daily movement with our fitness classes and yoga sessions, build meaningful relationships with our team building activities, and educate your employees on how to improve their health and happiness with our health talks.


Join our workplace wellness subscription, FitPros Live, for daily content every day. Employees can drop in whenever and you can track employee attendance and engagement to see the real-time effect of our wellness solutions.


Want to learn more? Book a demo today


Author: Lindsay Johnson, CEO and Founder of FitPros



Looking for more? Contact a Wellbeing Manager to discuss your organizational wellbeing needs.


 


We provide workplace teams with mindful practices, personal and professional wellbeing growth, fitness instruction, and opportunities for social connection. We aim to inspire the highest potential in people at work, in life, every day, so they can show up healthy and at their best.



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