Beyond World Mental Health Day: Make Well-Being Your Daily Focus
10 October 2023 - Evotix
Today is World Mental Health Day, a pivotal date on our calendar that underscores the significance of mental well-being. This day arrives consistently each year, coinciding with a noticeable transition in the Northern Hemisphere. With the onset of autumn, temperatures drop, daylight hours diminish and the sun's rays grow weaker.
If you feel a little down at the thought of these changes, you’re not alone. About 10-20% of the population experience ”the winter blues,” with another 5% of American adults experiencing serious Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) – proof that the environment can compound the effects on our well-being and mental health.
As health and safety professionals, it’s our role to take these insights and support workers through this particularly challenging period of the year and beyond.
Why is World Mental Health Day important?
First observed on October 10, 1992, World Mental Health Day was created by the World Federation for Mental Health to bring attention to mental illness and its major effects on people’s lives around the world and how to take positive action.
This year, the organization is celebrating its 75th anniversary by launching its Global Campaign 2023. The campaign is based on this year's theme of: “Mental Health is a Universal Human Right." The goal is to recognize the progress that has been made, while being vocal about what is needed to ensure mental health and well-being are a priority for all.
According to the World Health Organization, prior to the pandemic, an estimated one in eight people globally were living with a mental disorder. At the same time, the services, skills and funding available for mental health were in short supply, and fell far below what was needed. The gap has only increased due to COVID-19, growing social and economic inequalities, protracted conflicts, violence and other public health emergencies affecting whole populations.
Mental health is more of a priority than ever
There continues to be a stigma around mental health and well-being, both at work and at home. It’s often ignored and assumptions are made that everyone is fine, when isn’t the case under the surface. In a survey for YouGov in the U.K., nearly one quarter (23%) of employees said their mental health and well-being had declined in the last 12 months, which could lead to burnout.
This is why World Mental Health Day is all about making mental health and well-being a universal right. We stand firmly by this statement as a global health and safety business.
Our mission at Evotix is clear. We want workers to go home from work energized, rather than drained. We want the workplace situations and relationships that people talk about to their families and friends over dinner to be positive. When they come to work, we want to make sure they are safe – for themselves and their colleagues – and not inattentive as a result of poor mental health.
With an estimated 12 billion workdays lost annually due to depression and anxiety, costing the global economy nearly $1 trillion, our mission feels more relevant than ever. And we’re not alone. The World Health Organization and International Labour Organization have launched two new publications which aim to prevent negative work situations and cultures while also offering mental health protection and support for employees.
Mental health in the workplace
It’s vital that employers play their part to reduce these depressing figures and raise mental health and well-being standards around the world.
At Evotix, we’ve long been identifying and investing in solutions to support the workforces’ mental health as part of an organization’s well-rounded health and safety strategy. That's why we partnered with well-being and mental health experts to create a well-being toolkit to help your workers find their glow.
This toolkit employs a three-pronged approach. Firstly, it aims to foster understanding and awareness of mental health within your workforce. Secondly, it provides tools to empower individuals to support those around them and cultivate a conducive work environment. Finally, it ensures the accessibility of this content for everyone, anytime, so that everyone can join in on this journey.
While the observance of World Mental Health Day may differ among employers and individuals, the present moment calls for a collective commitment to ensure that everyone returns home from work in a better state of mind than when they arrived. Let's strive to prioritize good mental health every day, not just on World Mental Health Day.
To learn more about how you can implement best practices to support mental health and well-being in your workplace, check out our tooklit: Mental Health and Well-Being Toolkit
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