Professor Neil Greenberg – March on Stress Director and Professor of Defence Mental Health at King’s College London – features in a new video focusing on the importance of leadership in the workplace for good mental health.
The video, from Maudsley learning, comes after new research from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) in which almost a third (31 percent) of the over 2,000 employees surveyed said they have experienced a mental health problem at some point during their working life, compared with a quarter (26 percent) in 2011.
Professor Greenberg explains: “Lots of research has been done which shows the approach of line managers can make a huge difference to their team members’ mental health.
“From a mental health point of view, good line management is about treating all members of the team fairly, not taking on too much work at the expense of the team’s needs, and giving good information to team members so they can make good and effective decisions.
“In organisations where leaders are perceived as good, staff members can have as little as one tenth of the mental health problems experienced by personnel in organisations where leaders are perceived as bad.
“A good and competent line manager needs to have at least a basic understanding of mental health and wellbeing. The best way they can think about mental health is how they prevent people becoming unwell, how they detect early on if their people do show symptoms of stress, and then how do they get them to the right treatment if that’s what they need.
“Being able to detect if someone is not their normal self – for example if they are more chatty, or quieter than usual, is the sort of situation in which a manager should sit down and have a sensitive chat with the individual.
“Also really important is for organisations to make sure their people can get access to the treatment they need – it doesn’t necessarily mean providing it but giving them the access they need to get it.
“This links also to the culture of the organisation – setting a culture in which people feel comfortable to ask questions and get concerns out in the open so they are addressed before potentially causing issues including stress and anxiety.”
March on Stress provides mental health in the workplace training through StRaW (Sustaining Resilience at Work) – a peer support system designed to help staff spot the signs of workplace stress, encourage help-seeking and get people support if needed. Please click here for more information. or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
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