Tough economic times combined with rising levels of job uncertainty boost levels of stress and psychological ill-health, says Black Dog Tribe‘s resident expert Dr Tim Anstiss.
Depression at work is not an uncommon story. But, depression is on the rise and old taboos linked to talking about depression at work remain. To coincide with the launch of Mental Health Awareness Week 2012 (21-27 May) Black Dog Tribe, a social site co-founded byRuby Wax, is calling on employers to open the doors to communication, and encourage discussion to help raise awareness about depression and mental health at work.
Mental health and well-being of employees is important, and yet frequently swept under the carpet. Businesses can adopt simple steps to improve the quality of the psychological work climate. Black Dog Tribe’s resident expert Dr Tim Anstiss, medical director at the Academy for Health Coaching, recommends the following actions:
- Don’t see improving employee wellbeing as a nice but a costly ‘add on’ – understand that improving wellbeing at work is another pathway to improved productivity and cost reduction.
- Adopt a guiding, coaching management style, keeping the amount of telling and instructing to a minimum. Few people like to be told what to do, and when people generate the ideas themselves they are more likely to be acted upon.
- Create the right conditions for people to do their job well, and trust them. Adopt a positive view of human beings, as various management guru’s have always recommended. Step in and coach on an as needed basis. Don’t micro-manage or spy on people.
- Behave in ways which increase workplace levels of trust, respect and understanding: Listen to and value what people have to say: value new ideas; sort out problems and conflicts quickly; do what you say you are going to do; and communicate expectations
- Make available high quality occupational health and wellbeing services to staff – either from your local NHS provider or an independent provider.
Dr Anstiss commented; “Depression in the workplace is an important issue which often goes unnoticed by management teams. There is a general lack of awareness within companies, small and large, on how to address depression and mental health at work. It is still frequently seen as an ‘off-limits’ subject. Opening channels to discussion can help reduce feelings of anguish, isolation and anxiety caused by depression. Social sites like www.blackdogtribe.com can make all the difference.”
Black Dog tribe is also supporting Mental Health Awareness Week 2012 with a series of activities in www.blackdogtribe.com throughout the week including:
Mental health Q&A with Dr Tim Anstiss – 4 to 5pm
Dr Tim Anstiss will be joining us on BlackDogTribe.com every day this week between 4pm and 5pm to answer questions on mental health and to discuss mental health as a positive concept. Black Dog Tribe supporters are encouraged to send in their questions to email@example.com before 3pm daily.
Dr Tim Anstiss is trained in medicine, cognitive behavioural and interpersonal therapy, and spends much of this time sharing insights from the emerging science of positive psychology with individuals, teams and organisations. For more information see his personal website, The Academy for Health Coaching or The Applied Wellbeing website.
Launch of video tips
Grace Jones, a recent winner of Black Dog Tribe’s Tea at the Ritz competition and an assistant producer for Discovery, will be putting together a series of light hearted video tips for the week.
Daily feel good quotes
Need inspiration? Black Dog Tribe will be posting daily feel good quotes.
Tea at the Ritz with Ruby Wax during Mental Health Awareness Week
The 10 winners of Black Dog Tribe’s competition plus one lucky winner from last week will meet Ruby Wax at The Ritz, London, for tea on 29thMay. Winning stories will be posted each day.
Tribers blog for Black Dog Tribe about their experiences
Throughout the week we also have some fantastic guest bloggers writing about their experience surrounding depression and mental health for BlackDogTribe.com. Key topics will include – Bipolar, Post Natal Depression, Children with Mental Health Issues, and Depression. Visit the site to read personal and insightful accounts of what depression is like and learn more about mental health problems.
BlackDogTribe.com aims to give the one in four who suffers from poor mental health a voice by bringing them together online. The project has the support of leading UK mental health charities Mind www.mind.org.uk and SANE www.sane.org.uk .