Have you heard of mental wellness month? Whether you are working from home or are back in the office, your workplace environment affects the mental health of your employees. Mental Health America’s Mind the Workplace 2021 survey found nine out of ten employees feel their workplace stress affects their mental health. Four out of five employees feel emotionally drained, and three out of five report they do not receive support from supervisors or leaders.
About one million people miss work every day due to stress. This can be extremely costly to companies considering poor mental health also leads to lower productivity. Among study respondents, 54% stated work stress affects their home life. Yet only 43% of the participants feel their boss cares about work-life balance. Even worse, only four in ten bosses offer help to employees expressing concern over stress and mental health.
January is Mental Wellness Month, and you can do something different this year for employees to celebrate mental wellness month in the workplace. Check out the following ideas.
Define Mental Wellness with Your Team
Mental wellness can mean different things to different employees. Some may think it prevents a nervous breakdown, while others may think it takes medication for depression or anxiety. As a group, develop your company’s definition of mental wellness so there is no confusion. Including all staff will make everyone feel valued. It can also help employees connect through experiences and improve communication.
Host a Lunch and Learn
Treat your employees to a lunch and learn to celebrate mental wellness. Hire a nutritionist to speak about how food affects mental health. Have a personal trainer show employees a few mini workouts they can do at work to boost mood. Ask a mental health professional to teach employees how to recognize the signs of poor mental health and seek help. Add a team-building activity that is fun and relaxing.
Hire a massage therapist for a day who will visit your office and give ten-minute chair massages to stressed employees. This will introduce your employees to massage or encourage them to seek massages in their free time. Massage has numerous mental health benefits. Research shows a ten to fifteen-minute massage can reduce stress, anxiety, headaches, fatigue, blood pressure, and cortisol, the stress hormone.
Mental Health Committee
Create a Mental Health Team for your employees. The team will offer resources and promote mental wellness within the company. Fill your team with a diverse group that will enjoy the challenge of improving workplace culture.
The mental health committee should create a mental health strategy for all employees. It must be easy to understand and make a positive impact. Some companies use the 4 A’s formula: Awareness, Accommodations, Assistance, and Access.
Raise Money for Mental Health
Nothing feels better than giving to a good cause. Choose a local mental health facility that could use a few extra thousand dollars. Typically, all mental health agencies could use the money. You and your team can decide which one would make the best partner for this project.
Thons are easy to implement fundraisers. Walk-a-thon, dance-a-thon, and bike-a-thon are a few examples. Other ideas include raffles, bake-offs, dress-down days, and auctions, which are very popular activities that raise a lot of money quickly.
Send Positive Messages
Instruct your mental wellness team to create an internal line of communication that allows employees to send positive messages to one another. You can also send messages to employees. Make sure the rules of the group are enforced to prevent negative communications.
Positive messages from the leaders in the company can be more meaningful than financial incentives. Employees want to feel appreciated and like they are an integral part of the company.
Host a Family Day
Work and home life are rarely balanced. Many people spend more time at work than they do with their families. Thank your employees’ family members by hosting a party in which they can get more time with their loved ones. You can also take this opportunity to provide mental health awareness and resources to family members.
The mental health of a family member affects your employee, their productivity, and ultimately, their mental health. For example, if your employee is married to someone with severe depression, they likely spend part of their workday thinking about their spouse. This means they are not thinking about work.
Host a Screening Day
Hire a mental health professional to conduct mental health screenings on employees. Some employees may not recognize they have a problem, and an assessment could give them better insight into their emotions.
Mental Health Zoom Check-Ins
Start hosting morning or mid-day Zoom meetings that any employee can join, no matter where they are in the world. This meeting should only be about spreading positive messages and boosting employee moods.
Get creative with your Zoom meetings. Find fun ways to celebrate your staff, like with awards that have hilarious titles. Check out these titles. Coffee pot’s best friend, the question asker, multi-tasker, and the traveling pharmacy are a few favorites.
Other Ways to Celebrate
Think outside the box when it comes to celebrating mental wellness at work. Go above ordering a pizza or a potluck. Go way beyond hanging posters about mental health in the break room. Here are some additional ideas:
- Bring your pet to workday
- Start a book club
- Turn an office space into a game room
- Allow naps at work
- Hire a yoga instructor. No, hire a goat yoga instructor
- Paint parties
- Give your office curb appeal with employee landscaping projects
- Craft stations
- Escape room competitions
- When celebrating mental health and spreading awareness, it’s essential to break the stigma of seeking treatment. Promote the well-being of each employee and their families. Give your employees what they need to succeed. You will enjoy a great return on your investment, including higher productivity, more creativity, less turnover, and overall healthier company culture. It is a win for you, the employee, and the customer.
mental wellness month
- Mental Health America. 2021 Mind the Workplace Report. Mental Health America. Published March 2, 2021. Accessed October 5, 2022. https://www.mhanational.org/research-reports/2021-mind-workplace-report
- American Massage Therapy Association. Massage for Mental Health | AMTA. American Massage Therapy Association. Accessed October 5, 2022. https://www.amtamassage.org/resources/massage-and-health/mental-health/