It’s the Mental Health Foundation’s “Mental Health Awareness Week” 9-15 May and the theme this year is loneliness. Their website reminds us that loneliness is a significant public health issue. It remains one of the key indicators of poor mental health, as being connected to other people in a way that helps us feel valued is absolutely fundamental to protecting our mental health. Long-term feelings of loneliness have also been shown to be associated with higher rates of mortality and poorer physical health outcomes.
Problems at work can often leave someone feeling isolated and alone, even in a room full of colleagues. Many people are still working remotely, which can add to feelings of being disconnected from colleagues and the wider organisation. Work cultures that encourage actual engagement between colleagues are likely to at least provide opportunities to address loneliness and isolation.
Top causes of workplace stress include management style, and managers usually find difficult conversations about performance, attendance, or issues between colleagues the hardest part of their role. Investment in supporting managers to understand their impact on others and have difficult conversations effectively is likely to do more to improve mental health in a workplace than any number of well-intentioned webinars. Unfortunately, many managers are left without the support and training they need to spot issues in their team before they get out of hand. This can leave employees struggling to make themselves understood, and all to often leads to formal grievances and even employment tribunal claims.
At YESS we avoid confrontation, instead focusing on mediation and negotiated resolutions between the parties. Not only are these methods quicker and less costly, in our experience, they can also result in less stress and overall impact on a client’s mental health. If you feel as though your mental health is being affected by problems at work and your concerns are not being taken seriously, we can advise you on your options and help you to engage with your employer to reach resolution before you reach crisis point.
For a free, no obligation call with one of our solicitors complete our contact form or call us on 0203 701 7530