Mental Health, Covid-19 & Your Workplace
The Challenges We Face
In recent years, mental health has become a major workplace focus. Andwith the increased levels of isolation, anxiety & loneliness caused by Covid-19, managing and supporting mental health at work has never been more critical.
A series of polls by RTE in late 2020 focused on the impact that the current pandemic is having on Irish people. The results highlight that many people are concerned about a major mental health epidemic rising quietly beneath the noise of the virus pandemic. A staggering 25 % of respondents saidthat mental health problems were in their top three concerns for living in Ireland under the current circumstances, with a further 33% of people “very fearful” of the effects social isolation is having on them.
Mental Health Ireland’s CEO, Martin Rogan describes the need for us all to recognise the seriousness of these concerns and the results raised in the RTE polls stating that “regardless as to howresilient Irish people are” we all have to try to combat this threat of damaging mental health issues associated with the effects of Covid-19 and to “adapt to this context by exploring new technologies, creative workarounds and new socially distanced adaptions”.
In this context, Inspiration has been working on using digital technologies todevelop initiatives to help create happy workplaces and to assist in keeping workers fit and healthy through these tough times and beyond.
And we’ve discovered some approaches employers can use to address mental health issues with their teams….
- Keeping & Promoting Open Communication
Unfortunately, around 82% of employees who have a mental health issue do not confide in management, so now is a better time than any to break that culture of silence and open up communication channels that encourages conversation.
- Help & Continue to Integrate Socialisation Amongst Your Teams
Lee Chambers, an environment phycologist & wellbeing trainer explains how the enforcement of constant lockdown measures has caused many of us to “slow down” socially. Therefore, we have to work onfindingways to be creative in connecting with otherswhile also embracing these“rare opportunity”to connect on a deeper level with our colleagues and friends.
- Team Remote Bonding Activities
Online team bonding activitiesare key in helping to build workplace relationships, and in fillingthat social void that exists in many of our lives today. Team bonding exercises and ideas in the current climate can present logistical and operational hurdles but these can be overcome with professional support – we can help with this. Here’s our most recent initiative…
- The Inspiration Step Up Challenge
We devised the Step-Up Campaign in late 2020. This employee wellbeing initiative isdesigned to help combat pandemic induced stress, isolation & anxiety by encouraging workplace employees and management to walk 10,000 steps per day for a month. Participants compete in a series of individual and team challengesfeaturingweekly leader boards, a personalisedcampaign website, email updates, tech support and much more…
Most recently, award-winning legal specialists Lavelle Partners, implemented the campaign, which ran with nearly all staff choosing to participate – many of them opting into a highly competitivevirtual team challenge, as well as three weekly individual challenges aimed at giving participants a different motivation each week to maintain engagement. The Lavelle Partners collectively walked an amazing 11.09 MILLION steps, the equivalent of 8450.58 km. Added to this success,over 77% of all participants each walked an average of 10,000 steps per day for the one-month period!
Claire McKay,The Marketing& Business DevelopmentManager of The Lavelle Partners had these lovely words to say after we wrapped up the Step-Up Challenge at the end of February with us;
“Inspiration handled a staff virtual event for Lavelle Partners during the pandemic. The event ran for a month. Not only did we have almost total participation, but all those involved stayed engaged right up to the end. Inspiration were a dream to deal with, communication was clear and really, there was very little I needed to do bar approve any communications to staff. I would highly recommend them”.
Let’s work together to combat mental health issues and social isolation; through a healthy activity, social engagement, our love for a bit of competition and most of all – fun!