Ibec marks World Mental Health Day 2020

October 10, 2020

To mark World Mental Health Day (10 October), Ibec’s Head of Social Policy, Kara McGann outlines why we must take every opportunity to protect and enhance the mental health and wellbeing of ourselves in these uncertain times. 

“While change is a constant in our working lives, this year coronavirus has led to significant change and uncertainty and new challenges for many of us. 

“Creating a positive wellbeing culture that incorporates mental health can be an anchor in these times of continual and uncertain change. 

“During this time, it is important that we take every opportunity to protect and enhance the mental health and wellbeing of ourselves and our employees not just due to the short term benefits but also to ensure the longer term impact on capacity to fulfil roles and ability to adjust to the changing circumstances.

“When employees feel supported and wellbeing is visible on the agenda the result is greater resilience and adaptability. 

“We know that 1 in 6 of people of working age experience a challenge to their mental health so its statistically likely that someone in your workplace is struggling - begin the process of dialogue around mental health and wellbeing. 

“There can be significant challenges to our mental health and wellbeing when faced with a crisis such as the COVID-19 pandemic that challenges not only our physical safety and that of those around us, but also changes how we work and live. The uncertainty and unknown aspect of the situation does little to reduce the feelings of anxiety and lack of control in individuals. 

“To address these concerns requires us to begin taking back control of the elements that we can have an impact on and bringing back routines and structures into our days that balance our personal and work lives where possible. This is an evolving situation and one that will test our resilience but by using the tools available to us, recognising what coping measures we use and trying to ensure they are positive ones, we can reassure ourselves of our ability to get through this challenge and the next.”

To listen back on Kara’s interview on the Ibec Voice Podcast, where she addresses mental health and wellbeing during Covid-19 and more, click here.

For further reading, Ibec recently published a major new research report that highlights the positive measures being undertaken by business to address mental health issues in the workplace. 

Ibec is helping companies in Ireland embrace corporate wellness through our KeepWell programme. This programme focuses on the key areas of workplace wellbeing ranging from leadership, mental health and absence management to physical activity and healthy eating. To help companies ‘KeepWell’ and achieve this accolade, we provide a clear path outlining and guiding companies on how to improve workplace health and safety while maintaining a sense of wellbeing.

We also have just kick started a brand new webinar series this autumn, where we are joined by industry experts to discuss how to safeguard the mental health and wellbeing of your employees. Ibec members can learn more here