International Day Against Homophobia, Lesbophobia, Transphobia & Biphobia 2022
April 26 2021Read more
January can be a difficult time of year for many reasons. The pressure to set new year’s resolutions, post-Christmas blues and dark, cold climate can be a struggle. We know that the winter months also trigger Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)—a type of seasonal depression—for some.
At Health Assured, we’ve found that calls to the helpline increased by as much as 15% in January compared to other months. We received tens of thousands of calls from employees last year, with the highest call volumes relating to anxiety, low mood, and depression.
This calls for action from organisational leaders and employers. We must address Blue Monday in the workplace as part of a broader focus on employee wellbeing. Organisations must hit the topic of mental health head-on in 2023 rather than fuelling the stigma or brushing it under the carpet.
That's why we're flipping the narrative on Blue Monday by looking how you can help create more happy Mondays this year.
If you’re currently providing an Employee Assistance Programme (EAP), now could be a good time to relaunch this service. It’s easy for employees to forget the services they have access to day-to-day—and even more so in times of need. Yet these services really can be a lifeline in times of need. So let the day serve as a reminder to employees about the type of support they can access through this service. Shout about the benefits and encourage employees to reach out to the service if they've been experiencing difficulties.
Another way to approach the day is by using it as a platform to encourage employees to maintain good mental and physical health. As part of your offering to employees, you could provide health assessments, host talks from a mental health professionals or provide massages to employees as a way to de-stress. These wellness clinics may encourage employees to focus on their wellbeing.
As the working-from-home setup becomes more widespread, employers must find new ways to overcome employee wellbeing challenges. To keep recognition and spirits high, you could arrange home deliveries for your working-from-home colleagues. A small gesture of appreciation can lighten the mood and remind them of what a great place they work at.
Open communication is critical in leadership; keeping employees up to date regarding changes, expectations and their own performance not only keeps them on track but also reduces feelings of stress and anxiety. It is important to keep employees well-informed of the latest developments and departmental changes. What’s more, open communication is a two-way relationship and the more employers converse with employees, the more likely employees are to share concerns, ideas and thoughts. This will work towards creating much stronger working relationships and a healthier overall company culture.
Lifting morale and office spirits boosts productivity and communication between teams. Mix things up by hosting a themed day in the office. It brings awareness to January's difficulties and lets employees know that you recognise this. The themed day will also get colleagues talking to each and this can be a major preventative factor to mental health problems.
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