The need for resilience dramatically increases as depression is up 18%
Depression is now the leading cause of ill health and disability worldwide. The WHO has revealed that more than 300 million people live with depression – up 18 per cent between 2005 and 2015. What’s causing this is often blamed on our ever faster, want-it-all-now society, while we consciously or unconsciously compete to be the best parent, employee, friend, carer, athlete and partner.
So as employers, what should we be doing?
Obviously it is in our best interest as employers / HR to keep our people present, productive and engaged.
None of us should be pushing our people to the limit, and indeed it’s often not work itself that causes mental health problems. Money issues, caring for dependents, sickness and relationship breakdowns to name but a few bring significant pressures. Whatever is causing the issues, supporting our people to cope is vital, so we need to ensure:
- That those with responsibility for people (e.g. line managers) know what symptoms to look out for
- They know the organisation procedure for who / how to flag concerns about their people
- There is a culture of it being OK for employees to talk about their worries without stigma or negative consequences
- Role models – perhaps leaders show the way talking about their support for mental health, or even any personal anecdotes
- Raise awareness for mental health charities, for the organisation’s employee assistance programme or external advice lines
- Advise employees about recognising mental health problems in themselves and others
- Training, workshops and support for resilience to help people improve their personal coping resources
Resilience is an everyday skill
Resilience is critical to fighting anxiety and depression. Defined as ‘the ability to recover readily from adversity’ – importantly, it’s not just about great life events, such as the death of a loved one, but how you bounce back and grow as you deal with everyday stress. It’s not a skill we all have (how often have you been distracted, down or lost sleep over a disagreement, for example), or all have all of the time, but it is teachable.
“The way people react to everyday stressors and hassles predicts changes in mental health outcomes across a 10-year span.” Paula Davis-Laack for Forbes
People Insight’s resilience workshop is designed using principles from Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and helps teams and individuals to:
- Develop their awareness of the signs & symptoms of stress and burnout
By getting people talking about it, they develop a vocabulary to discuss stress more easily which helps reduce stigma. They become more able to identify stress in themselves and in others.
- Understand the strategies & skills that make a person more resilient
The People Insight Resilience ModelTM provides a framework to coach teams how to draw on their personal resources, and manage behaviours when faced with stressful situations.
- Complete a personal resilience audit
Getting people to examine their own strengths and weaknesses, and privately compare their resilience factors to averages, helps them identify key development areas for themselves and their teams.
- Commit to goals to improve personal resilience
Individuals are equipped with guidance on how to improve, and commit to self-improvement and to assist with resilience issues in their teams.
How do you know if you have a workplace stress problem?
Your employee survey represents a good opportunity to carry out a wellbeing audit, or a stress risk assessment.
To quantify the issues and compare across departments, regions or other demographics, you can add stress and burnout indicator questions to your engagement themes. These can be benchmarked internally and externally to help you identify where any problems may lie.
At People Insight we use the PEARLTM Stress and Wellbeing Index within the engagement survey, based on validated questionnaires such as the GHQ12 and the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale. Using questions related to stress, wellbeing and burnout risk acts as warning flags to identify teams showing negative stress and who consequently may need further support.
Find out more about People Insight’s Wellbeing services
If you’re interested in learning more about our wellbeing surveys and resilience workshops, contact a member of our team today on 0203 142 6511 or via our contact page and we’ll be in touch shortly.
Alternatively, have a look at our ebook here.
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