This past Saturday, October 10, marked World Mental Health Day. What better time to remind ourselves how much mental health matters in a health and safety context?
There are various steps you can take to make your workplace an example of both good safety and good health practices. Mental health is an undeniable part of a functional safety framework. There are two steps to achieving positive mental health on the job: creating an environment of positive practices and open feedback, and preventing or addressing conditions or behaviour that negatively impacts mental health.
Today more than ever, our definition of mental health is incredibly comprehensive–as it should be. Often we forget that signs of a poor environment are not always self-evident. For instance, bullying can be so subtle that you may be doing it without even realising it. Things that are not glaringly obvious can still contribute immensely to creating a stressful and toxic environment, which greatly undermines efforts to achieve safety and compliance.
Workplaces with good mental health records rank much higher in productivity terms. Every dollar invested into mental health programs has more than a double return on investment. Prioritising mental health results in less absenteeism, fewer compensation claims, increased safety, better resources for employees and less stigma overall.
Of course, you get it–but what if you don’t know where to start? Resources like Heads Up offer a wealth of information and training on how to sustain a mentally healthy workplace.
As always, stay safe,