There is no health without mental health. Anyone may suffer from short-term or chronic mental health ailments in their day-to-day life, be it personal or professional. .
Other studies show that nearly 3.94% of individuals suffer from anxiety disorders globally and this number has been constant for years, according to . Therefore, there must be effective approaches to support people suffering from such issues.
Keeping this in mind, this blog post will explore a few steps that supervisors can incorporate in their workplaces to provide support for mental health issues and help them create a better place for everyone to work.
Effective Steps to Offer Support
Below are some simple yet effective steps to offer emotional and mental support to those in need:
1. Listen with an Open Mind
Active listening without any judgment or preconceived notions is the first step to creating a safe space for someone struggling with their mental health. Listening to what they have to say helps them become more aware of share how they feel and is one of the crucial steps to having an understanding of the issue.
2. Offer Reassurance
People facing mental health challenges may feel overwhelmed, anxious, or uncertain about their future both in their personal and professional life. They may be concerned about being labeled or judged due to their prevailing mental illnesses.
Being a manager or supervisor, providing reassurance may help those suffering ease up on some of these fears and help them feel more supported and validated.
3. Avoid Using Dismissive Comments
It is not helpful to dismiss the feelings of someone struggling with mental health problems and try to “fix” it by simply telling them to “cheer up” or “get over it.” Rather you need to take a professional approach to help them cope with it.
4. Develop Social Connections
Making time out to develop social connections besides work is also one of the effective steps in beating stress. Managers must encourage social gatherings among the staff members to help them interact with their colleagues to express their thoughts. This will help them build a good connection with each other leading to a more friendly work environment.
5. Encourage Them to Seek Help
There is no shame in asking for support or help for those going through a problem. While friends and family can provide support, individuals suffering from mental health issues are required to seek professional help and specialized treatment to overcome the problem. Encouraging someone to seek help can be a powerful way to support them in their journey toward recovery.
Raising awareness among individuals and appointing dedicated people is also an effective approach to creating a safe work environment. Employers can also arrange training sessions like mental health first aid training to educate individuals on various aspects and how to deal with the problem.
6. Avoid Making Assumptions
Not making any assumptions about someone’s mental health while supporting them is also significantly important to deal with the problem effectively. It is crucial to approach the situation open-mindedly to avoid inconvenience.
Assuming things about a person’s mental health on your own can be harmful and invalidating, and may prevent them from seeking the help they need.
7. Find a Purpose & Meaning
This varies from a person to person dealing with their issues. But finding a purpose in everyday tasks plays a big role in overcoming mental health issues like depression, stress, or anxiety. A few things individuals can try are engaging in work that makes them feel more useful, spending time with people that are important to them, think of good deeds and gestures to lift the mood.
8. Be Patient
While trying to provide support to the one in need, you might want to know how are they feeling or doing. Trying to be patient is the key to providing them with the necessary help they want. This will help them set the pace for asking for help.
9. Don’t Pressurize Them to Stay Busy
Most people assume that the only solution to escape mental health problems is by not paying attention to them at all. This is not the case. It can be difficult for someone struggling with mental health issues to engage in their usual activities or to maintain a level of productivity. Pressurizing them beyond their limits can be counterproductive and may even worsen their symptoms.
10. Don’t Take Anything Personally
A person facing mental health problems may show behaviors that are difficult to comprehend. They may hurt or upset you sometimes with their words or actions. However, it is important to remember that these behaviors or spells are not a reflection of who they are. These are just the symptoms of the person’s mental health challenges.
Frequently Asked Questions – FAQs
What is MHFA?
Mental Health First Aid or MHFA is the process of providing support to individuals suffering from various mental health ailments such as depression, anxiety, eating disorders, bipolar disorder, suicidal thoughts, or self-harm.
A mental health first aider for that matter is the person of contact for an employee at work who is facing mental illness or emotional distress.
What are the basic steps of mental aid first aid?
Mental health first aid uses the acronym ‘ALGEE’ which is as below:
- A: Assess the risk
- L: Listen Non-judgmentally
- G: Give reassurance and Information
- E: Encourage appropriate professional help
- E: Encourage self-help and other support strategies
Supporting someone with mental health illnesses require empathy, understanding, and patience. Following the above-mentioned steps will allow you to provide effective support and assistance to those in need and help reduce the stigma surrounding mental health to create a safe and supportive environment.