Ways to Raise Mental Health Awareness in the Workplace

Your employees’ mental health can have a massive impact on the success of your business. While working within an office space made it easier for managers to gauge their team’s mental health, this has become quite the challenge with remote teams.

Yes, remote teams come along with a plethora of benefits; however, the mental stress associated with working from home isn’t something you can ignore.

Unlike physical illnesses, it’s a lot more challenging to diagnose mental health issues. The sad part about mental issues like depression and anxiety is that they can lie undetected for months, sometimes even years on end. 

Furthermore, there are some staggering statistics associated with mental health within the workspace. 

The American Institute of Stress stated that nearly 57% of employees believe that their managers don’t care much about their work-life balance.

This has made it even more critical for managers to show that they care about the mental well-being of their team by inculcating mindfulness within the workplace.

In this blog, we’ll share simple ways to create a healthier workplace for your remote team during this Mental Health Awareness Month.

However, let’s first gain a bit of background on Mental Health Awareness Month.

What Is Mental Health Awareness Month, and Why Do We Celebrate It?

This year, the theme for the Mental Health Awareness Month is ‘Together for Mental Health.’ 

The global pandemic has had a substantial physical and mental impact on the lives of people. It has destroyed community relationships and social support networks.

Therefore, the focus of May 2022 is all about showcasing these bonds for people’s mental health.

There are several objectives to celebrating Mental Health Awareness Month.

  1. It helps raise public awareness and educate people about mental health.
  2. It promotes workplace mental health policies
  3. It fights the stigma associated with mental health
  4. It strives to eradicate the barriers to treatment for people suffering from mental health issues. 

Mental Health Month was established years ago in 1949. The Great Depression and the two world wars were bound to have a mental impact on people worldwide.

This was when people started talking and focusing on mental health issues, and several healthcare facilities came forward to advocate for mental health.

Now, Mental Health Awareness Month is celebrated all over the world but especially in the UK, United States, and Canada.

While the entire month is dedicated to mental health awareness, the first week is usually the most crucial time since most of the programs and events are organized during this week. 

There is a good reason why enterprises worldwide are prioritizing mental health. Stress with remote work is at an all-time high amongst remote teams. 

But don’t worry; we’ll now dive straight into how you can raise mental health awareness within your workplace. 

How to Raise Awareness About Mental Health in the Workplace

1. Promote work-life balance

To establish a healthy work environment, managers need to promote a good work-life balance and offer their remote teams flexible work choices. 

When companies promote a healthy work-life balance, employees don’t feel as stressed or experience burnout in the workplace. 

When companies allow employees the flexibility to set their own work hours and manage their schedule, it provides team members greater control over their lives — which is crucial for mental health. 

You can set overlap hours to schedule team-wide meetings and encourage coworkers to collaborate if you’re a distributed workforce. 

The bottom line is that whenever you can, you should allow your remote team members to work on their own time. 

Additionally, encourage your team members to take regular vacations and unplug from their work life. Help them develop a life outside the office, and you’ll see how their productivity, performance, and health will peak while they work for you. 

2. Open conversation about mental health within your workplace

Don’t hesitate to talk about mental health issues like anxiety, stress, depression, and more. It’s your responsibility to help your remote team realize that everyone struggles to manage their mental health during stressful times. 

The pandemic has not been kind to people’s mental health, and it’s more important than ever for your employees to recognize the signs associated with mental health issues and the most effective way they can deal with them.

3. Encourage a culture of connection. 

It has become more critical than ever for managers to check in with their remote team members on a regular basis. 

As we’ve mentioned, with remote teams, it’s even more difficult to detect signs of mental illness. 

According to a study with SAP and Qualtrics, over 40% of employees worldwide stated that none of their superiors asked them how they were doing. These respondents were nearly 38% more likely than other employees to accept that their mental health has deteriorated since the pandemic.

Conduct regular one-on-one check-ins with your team members and go beyond just a general how are you doing? 

Be more specific with your questions and really listen to what your employees have to say. Encourage them to openly share their concerns and ask questions. 

Take care to ensure that you don’t come across as overbearing; it may make your team members feel like you don’t trust them.

A simple heart-to-heart conversation with their superior can be instrumental for an employee to reach out for treatment.

4. Leverage virtual experiences

1. A Mindful Meditation Masterclass (US & UK)

Working from home has a lot of benefits; however, we can all agree that it comes with a lot of stress. From blurred work-life boundaries to loneliness, it’s a wonder people find the motivation to get out of bed most days. 

While it may not be as bad with your team members since your company culture values your employees, it doesn’t mean that your remote team has achieved a greater sense of peace in their everyday life. 

Learning mindful meditation can help decrease stress and increase morale among your remote team members.

Meditation acts as the ultimate nerve-soothing experience for a taxing lifestyle due to its well-known benefits like pain relief, anxiety reduction, improved mood and sleep quality, and more.

Avva’s wellness team social meditation masterclass will allow your team members to sit back, close their eyes, and relax in the comfort of their home while our meditation expert gently guides them through the journey. 

They’ll help you breathe past all the anxiety, stress, and tension associated with your work and life. 

You’ve never meditated before? No problem.

Our meditation mentor from the Sancti’s team will guide you through the entire session and help you recharge physically, mentally, and emotionally with guided meditation.

By the end of the mindfulness meditation session, your entire team will be infused with a feeling of peace and will be ready to face everything that lies in their way.

But more importantly, this meditation session will teach your remote team how they can leverage the simplest tools within their arsenal to meet life’s challenges head-on.

2. A Digital Wellbeing and Rest Workshop (US & UK)

We live in an “always-on” era. 

As remote workers, we overcompensate for remote communication challenges by being available 24/7

While effective communication is critical for remote teams, excessive connection with your work-life even when you’re off for the day can leave you feeling distracted and overwhelmed. 

You’ll never truly stop working or checking your social media or doing something with your devices, even when you meet people with whom you can have real, face-to-face conversations. 

Instead of making our lives easier and bringing us closer together, technology appears to be keeping us hopelessly distracted as we drift apart.

People are spending an inordinate amount of time on their screens, affecting their work, health, and relationships with their loved ones. 

In fact, mobile phones have become such an indispensable part of our lives that we can’t imagine living without them!

Furthermore, the pandemic has made our relationship with technology even more complicated, won’t you agree?

Dr. Alex Lai and Dr. Nirja Joshi, The WorkWell Doctors, will conduct Avva’s Digital Wellbeing and Rest workshop. 

They’ll teach your remote team how they can leverage technology in a way that’ll make them feel more healthy and happy in life. 

You’ll look deeper into the unhealthy relationship you share with technology and learn how to maintain a “tech-life” balance.

Help your remote team discover ways to create healthier work-life boundaries and build a meaningful, mindful, and balanced lifestyle online and offline. 

3. A Resilience and Burnout Wellness Workshop (US & UK)

Employee burnout is at an all-time high as the pandemic continues to linger. It has become a pretty common occurrence in today’s remote workplace.

Nearly two-thirds (70%) of workers have stated that they’re experiencing burnout and that their employers aren’t really taking steps to mitigate the situation.

Burnout at work is a stage where people are physically and emotionally exhausted which affects their performance, energy, productivity, and general interest in doing their job. 

It’s critical to note that workplace burnout doesn’t just affect people in traditionally high-stress roles or executive positions. Even an intern who may have just joined the company a couple of months ago may feel the effects of burnout. 

Employee burnout isn’t something that happens overnight. It’s more due to a series of events that happen over time that can cause even the most dedicated employee to feel disengaged. 

However, you do have hope, as a manager, to create a healthy workspace where your team feels free to talk about their mental health. 

The Workwell Doctors, Dr. Alex Lai and Dr. Nirja Joshi, will help you open up conversations about mental health and burnout within your remote team.

This Wellness Workshop will help you and your remote teamwork through the difficult areas of resilience and burnout.

4. Be Your Own Massage Therapist Workshop (US & UK)

Taking breaks from sitting at the desk constantly for hours on end is crucial for workplace productivity, focus, wellness, creativity, and more. 

This self-massage workshop is a session that your remote team will forever thank you for. 

There are so many self-massage tips and tricks available for free online from “gurus” on YouTube. However, it’s vital to learn the right spots and techniques to massage yourself from an expert who is certified to teach what they do.

Our expert, Nick Torry, is accredited in Japanese Acupressure and Raynor Naturopathic Massage.

During this workshop, you and your team will learn how to elevate the stress within your body with simple and effective routines that you can follow every day. 

5. Health Is Wealth Nutrition Workshop (US & UK)

With remote work, it’s easy to simply stroll into the kitchen and grab a snack for you to munch on while you work. While this may not seem like a big deal at the moment, binge eating such snacks has a far-stretching impact on your body.

During this workshop, your team will have the chance to learn about the different ways food and nutrition impact our life and productivity.

This is a fun and engaging wellness session led by certified Sancti’s nutritionists!

  1. Fun and Accessible Online Yoga Session (US & UK)

Virtual yoga sessions are an excellent way for remote teams to connect with each other on a spiritual level, something that’s crucial while we work through this lingering pandemic stage.

During this online yoga session, your remote team will come together and perform yoga as our experienced yoga instructors guide them through it. 

Your team can choose Bliss Yoga, where we combine the rhythmic beats and yoga to get your team swaying to the music and breathing through all the stress of their work-life. 

The second option is Meditative Yoga which focuses more on mental relaxation, concentration, and balance.

The last, and probably the best yoga for remote teams, is Desk Yoga. 

Avva’s Desk Mobility Yoga session focuses on helping your team members identify painful target regions within their bodies and which yoga poses can help relieve these areas of tension.

The Mix Art & Mindfulness in This Online Painting Masterclass (US & UK) is another exciting mental wellbeing virtual experience that you can choose for your remote team. 

During this workshop, your team will learn how to use art as a medium to unwind and relax. 

Final Thoughts

Mental Health Awareness Month is all about normalizing mental health issues and encouraging people to come out and seek help. 

Without question, it’s an excellent chance for businesses to raise awareness and prioritize the mental health of their remote employees.

There are several ways for companies to do so, and you can use the strategies listed in this blog to make your workspace a little more open when it comes to talking about mental health.