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Loneliness is the theme for this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week. It's a feeling that is an inevitable part of life for most, but chronic loneliness can be detrimental to health and wellbeing.
More than 9 million people in the UK say they often or always feel lonely; we’re reaching a crisis point—and it’s time to take action.
As an employer, you have the power to make a difference. Workplaces can encourage the social connections essential to living a meaningful, purposeful and happy life. These vital connections provide us with a sense of identity and belonging, acting as an antidote to loneliness.
The wrath of loneliness is a feeling everyone experiences at times—and it’s a challenging one to go through. There could be many of your employees lost in the grips of loneliness right now.
This article will dive deeper into the signs of loneliness to look out for in employees. We'll also look at ways that you can get involved with Mental Health Awareness Week this year.
Encourage managers to identify employees who might be at risk of loneliness and lookout for signs of poor mental health. Your managers are often the first people that employees will turn to during times of distress. If they can talk things through in a supportive environment, it’s more likely that they will speak up in times of need.
Signs to look out for include:
Networks bring employees together and aid connection; it could be a book club, pride network or football team. These groups provide a sense of community and belonging between employees. When employees have a positive sense of connection at work, it improves morale—and wellbeing.
Social events encourage stronger bonds between teammates. And it’s these strong bonds that are so vital in reducing feelings of loneliness. Employees spend much of their waking lives surrounded by their colleagues. So it's important that these relationships are well maintained. By hosting social events, you encourage employees to find common ground and deepen friendships. From after-work drinks to team meals and activity days—there are plenty of ways to offer this experience to employees.
Loneliness and mental health are closely linked. So by supporting employee mental health, you also combat loneliness. If you have an Employee Assistance Programme in place, ensure employees know about it. Talk openly about mental health where you can at work and encourage employees to seek help should they need it. Providing free fruit, discounted gym memberships, and health plans can also help to promote a healthy, active workforce.
Having a dedicated, trained employee who can confidentially support colleagues and line managers can be a great way to tackle loneliness in the workplace. Mental Health First Aid courses teach employees to recognise signs and support those with mental health issues. The Mental health course allows you to provide training opportunities and highlights your consideration for workplace wellbeing.
We provide an industry-leading Employee Assistance Programme that supports employees and managers 24/7, 365 days a year.
Our counsellors are here to provide a listening ear and in-the-moment support via the helpline. We can help employees back on their feet if they are struggling with loneliness or mental health issues,
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