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01 January 2020

Mental Health:

The problem with ‘leaving it at the door’
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Let's talk about mental health

Right now, 1 in 6 workers are dealing with a mental health problem at work that stops them performing at their best. Anxiety, depression, and high levels of stress are becoming more prevalent in the workplace. But there are some things we can do.

Research has shown that having a job has a positive impact on someone’s mental wellbeing, and those out of work are more likely to have poor mental health. More recent research suggests that good quality, engaging work is good for your mental health, but if the work environment becomes toxic or disengaging, this can have the same detrimental impact on someone’s health as not working at all!

Let’s take a look at some of the causes of a poor working environment.

Even from a brief summary of these issues, it’s clear that the key to tackling these problems requires a seismic shift in workplace culture. Having ‘values and behaviours’ is important in addressing these, but it must be underpinned by actions, from the top down. Furthermore, having strong people managers is required, as opposed to simply having managers who control the flow of work.

Our members often tell us that their manager has said to ‘leave your problems at the door’ which in the majority of cases lacks any kind of empathy or understanding of the situation an individual faces both outside of work, but also within the workplace. It would be nice to imagine everyone could simply dump their problems as they arrive at work — but we’re human beings, and that’s not how we work. This kind of attitude creates a toxic work environment and sits alongside phrases such as ‘chin up’, ‘get a grip’ and ‘man up’ — it forces individuals to accept a given situation and pretend that things are OK, rather than addressing or supporting the actual issues at hand.

What needs to happen from here?

There are a number of actions that need to be taken to create a positive mental health workplace:

Feeling stressed at work?

As part of Health & Safety legislation, employers have a duty of care to provide a safe working environment for their employees. You may not think it, but this also extends to mitigating against undue risks of stress related injuries at work. Here are some practical steps you can take:

About the Accord ED&I group

The Accord Equality Diversity & Inclusion group aims to ensure every individual has the right to an equal opportunity to maximise their potential, regardless of background, and to be treated with dignity and respect. It’s a place where diversity is celebrated, and all contributions are welcomed and cherished without prejudice or judgement. It’s also a chance to collectively learn from our experiences, allowing us to remove barriers and enrich each other’s lives.

If you’ve experienced any issues surrounding transphobia at work, or you want to know more about what Accord’s approach to equality, diversity & inclusion, get in touch at [email protected]

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