Mental Health in the Care Industry

All of us, at one point in our lives, have felt stress, fear, or worry.

In more cases, these feelings come and go.

But when it comes to mental health problems, like depression or anxiety, they can physically cause a standstill in our lives.

Mental health involves the emotional, psychological, and social wellbeing of a person.

When it comes to dealing with the problems of mental health, tackling them can prove to be tricky.

Some examples of mental health concerns can include:

  • Unable to get on with everyday life.
  • Causing a huge impact to family, friends, and colleagues.
  • Stuck in a low or sad emotional state.
  • Causing thoughts of self-harm or suicide.

Support, medicinal, even psychic treatment are all methods used to combat mental health issues.

Employers, family members, even individuals may face the complexities of dealing with it.

But in the end, everyone – even care home staff – should feel as safe as possible during work.

What are triggers for workplace mental health?

According to research done by the Mental Health Foundation, 1 in 6.8 people experience mental health problems in the workplace.

Health care workers face an amplitude of triggers which lead to mental health problems.

Such examples can include:

  • Inadequate health and safety standards.
  • Insufficient communication with team members.
  • Poor management practices.
  • Lack of support from other employees.
  • Pressures of meeting work targets and objectives.
  • Fears for job security.

Supporting healthcare workers during tough times

Due to socio-economic changes, we’ve grown accustomed to literally adapting to the times.

We might have inherited the stiff-upper lip when it comes to dealing with COVID-19, pandemics, and lockdowns.

However, it doesn’t mean we blindly accept these drastic changes.

People are bound to be worried and anxious – and those working in the care industry are not immune to this.

Front-line workers are working through some of the most treacherous times.

They risk their own health and welfare, on a day-to-day basis, for an arguably unworthy return.

How to support the mental health of social care workers

It’s vital for healthcare workers to priorities their wellbeing – both physical, mental, and emotional.

Here’s how to provide support as an employer:

Draw out a structured routine

Adding structure to your day can significantly reduce mental stress and physical overworking – common health risks suffered by social workers.

Encourage your employees to draw out a structured routine for their daily work tasks.

And make sure they try to stick to the outline every day.

Ask them to write it out in a planner, so they can visual what their day (and week) will cover.

It can also help them deal with any unexpected changes or additional tasks thrown at them.

It’s not the same as writing out their daily settings, like a diary.

There’s no penalty for missing a slot or two – it’s about having guidance for the day.

Start a form of exercise

Despite common belief, exercising and keeping active has as much mental health benefits as physical ones.

Of course, exercising overall helps physical health and wellbeing.

A regular routine can help control weight, combat medical conditions, and lower the chances of long-term illnesses.

But the mental health benefits are just as appealing.

Boosting your energy rates, getting better sleep, and even improve moods can all help one’s mental health state.

Exercising can help positively impact depression, anxiety, stress, memory, and even one’s libido!

Keep communication going

As an employer, you have a legal duty of care for the safety and welfare of your employee.

And this still applies whether they’re working in the office or remotely.

It’s vital to maintain communication with them – no matter how busy or distant they’re working.

This is especially important during current times, where remote working is the new social norm.

Contact in-person seems to lessen as we deal with viruses and isolation rules.

So, make sure you keep in touch with your employees.

It’s also important for employees to switch off from work.

Encourage them to keep in touch with their own family members and friends.

Direct verbal communication, like telephone or video calls, can significantly help reduce mental anxiety and stress.

Maintain a good sleeping pattern

Many people suffer from the after-effects of insufficient sleep in their everyday activities – especially through REM (rapid eye movement) sleep.

Sleep provides vital momentum to help maintain cognitive development.

This includes things like producing thoughts and remember memories.

So, just like the body needs food to function; the brain needs sleep to efficiently run, too.

Encourage your carers to aim for a good night’s sleep – every night.

That way, both mental and physical health is cared for, and employees work in suitable working conditions.

Introduce reasonable adjustments

Be aware of unexpected changes to personal and working lifestyles – dealing with these is paramount in protecting your staff.

Introducing reasonable adjustments can help remove any queries employees might have for meeting their contractual terms during changes.

If an employee states their physical and/or mental health is affected by societal (or even commercial) change, you need to deal with it.

Simple changes, like offering staggered start/finish times, altering contractual terms, even introducing positive mental health practices can all help.  

Plan and plan ahead

Employees most likely are suffering mental health difficulties in recent time.

This probably relates to having to deal with new governing regulations and alternations to their work arrangements.

Whilst you might have a solid work structure in place, employers should always be conscious of the unexpected.

Global businesses have learnt to adapt to the times – instead of suffering from the impacts of socio-economic changes.

And you shouldn’t think differently either.

Dealing with mental health in the workplace can prove to be a complicated employer responsibility.

But it doesn’t mean you can disregard it – your carers need to work in the safest and most comfy state possible.