Is your Organization Ready to Support Mental Health Challenges – The Well Being of your People
Organizations are moving through the 'Pandemic Recovery' stage and employees are returning to work. All may be carrying the strains of the previous 10 – 12 weeks including the effects of isolation, financial or family challenges or even fear of a second wave. Now may be a good time to assess your capacity, and the capacity of your leaders to support the challenges around psychological and mental health.
As a first step, members across Canada joined us to participate in a virtual discussion with the Canadian Mental Health Association. Thank you to Kristen Barnes, Director of Operations with CMHA-NB for providing a broad understanding of mental and phycological heath, the effect of a pandemic event and various ways to mitigate emotional stress and burnout.
A poll during the event indicated that a high percentage of companies do not have a plan or process in place but indicated that they have this as part of their resumption plan.
Prior to the COVID pandemic the impacts of mental health on an organization were significant, taking into account absenteeism, presenteeism, lost productivity and the costs of claims. Experts expect to see these impacts accelerate as business resumes.
Kristen provided attendees with an understanding of the impacts of trauma, or a stressor (such as a pandemic), which can present as emotional, mental, physical, social, or behavioural issues.
Supporting the resilience of leaders, managers, and supervisors during this time, is a key foundational piece to supporting a workforce.
So, what does stress look like during COVID:
- Increased incidents of mental health challengess such as anxiety, andan inherant exacerbation of existing mental health issues.
- Expression of a range of emotions such as fear, helplessness, depression and panic
- Signs of insomnia, mood disorders, etc.
- Signs of substance abuse.
It’s OK to not be OK - and that needs to be communicated.
As a result, and this was a particularly important piece, the signs to look for:
As Kristen provided a scope of resources relating to building resilience, coping with stress, finding balance and building mental wellness, and because this topic is so important, I have included both the presentation and the recorded event for your review.
At our next event, we will be exploring ways to assess your current state and discussing a strategic plan for moving forward. It is difficult to create a plan without knowing exactly where you are so the assessment piece is a reasonable next step.
Our thanks to Kristen and the Canadian Mental Health Association for partnering with EMC to provide this resource.