Helen Green

Leading for mental wellbeing

Are you a leader for everyone? It’s a tough question and one which I would hope you can answer in the affirmative; but it’s also one which hopefully will have you pausing a moment to question the way in which your leadership impacts across the organisation.

The reason for my question is that at the time of writing it is World Mental Health Day and this 25th incarnation has mental health in the workplace as its theme. It’s an apt subject and one which really deserves to receive high levels of publicity and discussion. Like it or not, in far too many organisations mental well-being is still a taboo subject. You may have a free, open and trusting sickness policy but how easy is it for your people to admit that they need a day off because they’re feeling really low?

So would it surprise you that one in six people in the UK last week experienced a mental well-being issue? And would it also surprise you that within the last year work was the reason for 60% of employees experiencing mental well-being issues? Leading for mental well-being starts with creating the conditions which mean that your people feel free to see mental issues in the same way as any other health issue. And it also means working on delivering a culture which is aimed at supporting your people rather than creating the conditions in which negative behaviours such as stress, bullying and anxiety can flourish.

When you lead mental well-being, you are leading for the good of your people and in the long run that can only benefit the organisation and its customers.