“Staff mental health” is a term used to describe the emotional, psychological, and social well-being of people in a workplace.
The World Health Organization (WHO) indicates that the workplace can often be a source of positive mental health, but common factors can quickly turn a positive caregiving environment into a negative one. Because of this, employers in the caregiving sector need to make conscious efforts to create a positive work environment that supports caregivers’ mental health and wellness.
Caregiving Mental Health Risk Factors
Here are some of the common mental health risk factors for caregivers:
Stress is the first risk factor to impact a caregiver’s mental health. Excessive, long-term stress poses serious risks to the caregiver and the person(s) in their care.
Harassment and bullying can take many forms, and they also cause a lot of stress and psychological harm, whether from other employees or the person in their care.
Poor communication between employers and employees can often create workplace stress.
When caregivers are left out of the decision-making process, it can create a feeling of isolation and underappreciation.
Work schedules that prevent sufficient sleep or outside social interaction are damaging to mental health as well.
Why Caregiving Employers Need to Monitor Staff Mental Health
Mental health issues are often ignored as many employers feel uncomfortable asking questions about an employee’s personal life. In addition, employees are often hesitant to speak about personal stress or struggles for fear of being viewed negatively by employers. However, ignoring employee mental health will result in problems for everyone, including:
- An environment with a lack of trust.
- A decrease in performance and productivity.
- Possible grounds for a discrimination claim.
- Poor reflection on your business’ reputation.
- An increase in mental health issues.
How to Monitor Your Staff’s Mental Health and Wellness
Mental health concerns can occur at any time, so employers or managers must be vigilant to ensure the staff are doing well. Regular one-on-one conversations or meetings can make employees feel respected and safe sharing their concerns. Here are some effective strategies to create an inclusive workplace and offer the mental health support your caregiving team needs and deserves.
(1) Provide Self-Care Education
Educate your caregiving team on self-care strategies and how to reduce workplace stress that can lead to burnout.
(2) Hold Regular Meetings
Since an employee’s mental health is changeable, regular caregiver check-ins are essential. Creating a check-in schedule when the manager and employee can talk privately for a short time can make a big difference.
(3) Encourage Self-Care
Business owners and managers must lead by example and promote self-care to maintain good mental health and avoid burnout. If possible, offer employees an occasional mental wellness day off or plan work schedules so that employees have time to reset mentally.
(4) Provide Clear Communication
Communicate clearly and compassionately with caregivers about their employee benefits package’s mental health treatment options. Provide information about who they should speak with when questions arise.
(5) Provide Workplace Mental Health Resources
Regardless of your business’s medical coverage, ensure your mental health and wellness resources are current and easy to access. Ensure employees understand your policies for bereavement leave and grief counseling and compiling a list of in-network therapists and mental health clinics will be appreciated.
As an employer in the caregiving industry, supporting good mental health practices will empower your employees to do top-notch work. In addition, by creating a strategy that fosters self-care and wellness, employees can better care for themselves, and the individuals entrusted to their care.
Written by: Tess DiNapoli
Tess DiNapoli is an artist, freelance writer, and content strategist. She has a passion for yoga and
often writes about health and wellness, but also enjoys covering the fashion industry and the world of fitness.