May is Mental Health Awareness Month. In working with a variety of leaders, a handful will still sometimes roll their eyes when you bring up mental health awareness in the workplace, while others smile, nodd, and champion the movement.
Mental health awareness does not have to take form in a therapy session for every team member throughout the workday but we should be mindful in our approaches and utilize our empathic hearts daily. Mental health awareness within a company culture can take shape during a weekly check-in meeting, and asking everyone present to share one thing they are grateful for before the meeting comes to a close.
In this article, we are going to discuss how leadership and mental health awareness should co-exist as one, why they are critical to any organization that wants to keep its all-star team in place for the long term, and what are some ways that leaders can incorporate positive mental health strategies and tactics into their leadership style. Remember, it starts with you!
We cannot help others if we do not help ourselves first.
Have you ever heard that when your glass is half empty you are not at your full capacity? It is very important to create moments wherein you are able to love yourself and participate in personal self care initiatives.
By doing so, you are able to ensure that you are helping yourself and thereby being the best person you can be. Demonstrating a healthy balance of work/life with the influence of self love and self care for your team is integral in your team’s success.
Teams excel when leaders actively care about their mental health and wellbeing.
Performing check-ins with your team to ensure that you know how they are doing both with their position and personally is critical. Talking openly about mental health and potential struggles in the world or things observed within the organization is important.
Being transparent, open, and empathetic to all of your team members will demonstrate that they are supported and respected. When team members feel supported and part of a family-like environment; they feel safe. If you want to foster a culture of creativity, innovation, and accountability, your team needs to feel supported and safe.
How to incorporate mental health awareness into your leadership.
There are many ways to incorporate mental health awareness in the workplace through your leadership style. Below is a small list of ways to effectively incorporate mental health awareness into your team’s environment:
- Check-in regularly with your team members
- Encourage team members to check-in on other team members
- Recognize that team members should be able to take days off of work for mental health days. It is important to refresh and refocus from time to time.
- Ensure that the environment that you create is open, transparent, and safe for sharing feelings and vulnerability
- Schedule team building events focused on mental health
- Discuss mental health in the workplace; do not shy away from it
- Have a therapist/counselor present for employees to be able to speak to if needed
Written by Christina DiArcangelo.
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