Over the past several years, we’ve witnessed events of great magnitude on a global scale. Industries upended and countries facing tragedy and turmoil. It’s challenging to stay focused on work each day, knowing what’s going on in the world. As an organizational leader, how can you support employees’ mental health during challenging times?
Acknowledge what’s going on
The blending of work and home life throughout the pandemic taught us that we cannot pretend to work in a silo. The world’s happenings influence organizational leaders, employees and the business itself. However, it’s impractical to speak out on every event or issue, so use discretion to decide when it’s appropriate and justifiably right.
Considerations for deciding when to speak out on an issue:
- Does the issue align with your company’s core values?
- Is speaking out only for performative purposes?
- Does silence say more than words?
- Is your approach honest and authentic?
- Is there an appropriate action to implement (e.g., offering support tools)?
Suppose you internally or externally acknowledge an overwhelming issue impacting mental health. In that case, your people will feel more supported by understanding they are not the only ones feeling this way. It also opens the door for them to come forward if they require mental health support.
Encourage employees to establish media boundaries
Everyone has different coping factors based on support systems, life experiences, personal beliefs and existing stress. While some people can manage a constant barrage of negative news, others will experience a toll on their mental health. If someone comes to you feeling overwhelmed, encourage them to establish boundaries for media consumption. Since headlines are intended to capture attention and evoke emotion, taking a break from scrolling through the news can help reduce stress. Others, however, may feel more anxious by the lack of information, so encourage people to find the right balance that supports their mental health.
Provide mental health support
If you notice many people are overwhelmed by a particular issue, consider organizing a support group where people can discuss how they’re feeling. Communicate that attendance is optional, so no one feels obliged to join the discussion.
Tips to offer employees who are feeling overwhelmed:
- Disconnect from social media and the news for a certain amount of time each day
- Talk to a friend or family member about how you’re feeling
- Engage in self-care; take time to do something that brings you joy
- Complete an act of kindness to improve your mental well-being
While these short-term actions can make a difference in improving mental health, there will always be someone in your organization who is facing challenges. To ensure employees are supported at all times, provide the tools and resources they need to improve their health long-term. Digital wellness programs with personalized action plans give members support tools tailored to their needs, presenting the best conditions to improve well-being.
Get in touch with our team to discover how BestLifeRewarded Innovations can support your organization with its customizable wellness program and best practice approach.