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Guest blog: The powerful role of mental wellness education

Guest blog by Mark Newey, Founder, Headucate.me

Building Societies have evolved to work within communities and to serve local people. As a result, most of them go to great lengths to look after their employees. Now more than ever, this means helping them with their mental wellness.

The problem with the Western approach to mental health is within its reactive nature.  Employees often wait until they are really struggling before putting their hands up to ask for help or to seek therapy.

And even when they do ask, the capacity of the NHS is constrained with therapy waiting lists between 6 to 12 months. Whilst many societies offer Employee Assistance Programmes, according to Deloitte, the take up of such schemes is dismal, at between 2 and 4%.1

We already had a mental health crisis before the pandemic, so it is imperative that we now change the conversation on mental health.

Learning about mental wellness can be powerful, proactive and empowering for employees.  The objective is to allow us to understand how our minds work, how we create stress, anxiety and depression and how to avoid them in the first place. From there, how to develop an understanding of who we are. Then how to develop true resilience to deal with the insecurities and uncertainties of life and ultimately to thrive.

A mental health education programme should allow employees to develop deep-level self-awareness, genuine self-esteem and a solid sense of identity, as well as a life vision and a life action plan.

The Headucate 5 Steps to Mental Wellness

  1. Self Awareness: Learn how and why your unconscious mind creates Stress, Anxiety and Depression, and how to conquer them, not manage or medicate them.
  2. Self Esteem: Stop worrying about what everybody thinks, let go of the things that are holding you back and become fundamentally comfortable with who you are.
  3. Vulnerability and Authenticity: Being you, being vulnerable and not hiding your weaknesses, will give you genuine charisma and transform how people see you.
  4. Life Vision and Purpose: Discover what you really want out of life, what makes your heart sing and why you are here: everyone has a calling.
  5. Self Empowerment: Find your natural personal inner strength and become the leader in your own life.

The Employer Benefits

Whilst the outcome for the employee can be enlightening, the benefit to the employer should not be understated either.  Employers can expect to see significant improvements in employee engagement and staff behaviour which ultimately contributes to a more positive workplace culture with all that brings. 

Evidence from such programmes show that changes fall into the following three categories:

  • An improvement in relationships: Happier staff means not only a more enjoyable working environment, but the learning and personal growth that comes with mental wellness education, means closer collaboration amongst colleagues, more teamwork, more motivation, more loyalty and ultimately much greater productivity.
  • A decline in staff management problems: when staff are happier in their work, there will be less conflict, less absenteeism, less presenteeism, less sickness, less attrition and lower recruitment costs.
  • An increase in efficiency and productivity: staff with mental wellness will think more clearly, make better decisions, complete tasks quicker and more accurately; meetings will be quicker and more decisive. Staff cognitive capacity will be increased and productivity can be transformed.

Study after study shows that even a small investment in employee mental wellness will pay itself back many times over. The Deloitte survey shows that the highest ROI, at 11:1, is for initiatives with the following attributes 1:

  • They are company-wide
  • They are proactive and not reactive
  • They are delivered confidentially online

Following recent set of webinars delivered to the staff at Saffron Building Society a follow-up survey showed that:

  • 90% of respondents ‘now look at mental health differently’
  • 88% felt ‘more confident in having a conversation about mental health with family’
  • 97% ‘now believe it is possible to be more in charge of their own mental health’

For more information see www.headucate.me  email hello@headucate.me

1 Deloitte: Mental Health and Employers 2020

Posted by Mark Newey on 11 March 2021