Mental health training in the workplace 101
A rapid increase in the number of people affected by mental health issues emerges as the result of the ongoing negative situation of COVID-19. Big corporates, in response to this circumstance, are promoting mental health training in the workplace for their employees. In this beginner guide, we are gonna look at:
- The importance of mental health training in the workplace
- Different types of mental health training in the workplace
- The role of animation in producing mental health training in the workplace
- Tips to effectively produce mental health training in the workplace
How much money is lost due to mental health problems in the workplace?
Franky, a lot! The economic cost of mental illness in the United States is from $30 to $44 billion, with nearly 200 million working days lost each year. In Britain, mental health problems directly account for £3.7 million loss from workplace absence. The Health and Safety Executive in the UK ranked mental illness as the second-largest category in occupational ill-health. Aside from working days lost, mental health issues in the workplace also, directly and indirectly, link to other negative financial effects on personal and organizational work. For example, reduced productivity, early retirement, recruitment, and training costs if the worker permanently withdraws.
What are mental health problems?
Mental illnesses are short-term abnormal psychological patterns that affect an individual’s life. The most popular mental health problems seen in the workplace are depression, anxiety, and stress-related disorders. If these conditions are not treated properly, they can lead to severe issues such as cognitive and affective impairments, disability, and even premature death.
Why is mental health training in the workplace important?
Workplace contributes to mental health issues
Workplace difficulties are among the common primary causes of mental illness. It can originate from excessive work demand, conflict with colleagues, or low level of work management. Workers’ lack of recognition, stigmatizing attitudes, and discrimination might be the contributing factors to the development and persistence of mental health problems. A recent study conducted in 35 countries revealed that depressed people frequently expect and experience discrimination from their co-workers. Moreover, managers are pointed out to be more critical towards employees’ work performance when they face mental issues than physical ones. In fact, the lack of support from managers leads to a two-times higher rate of long-term absenteeism. By acknowledging the existing troubles in the workplace, corporates can prevent and reduce the seriousness of mental illness of their employees.
COVID-19 pandemic makes mental health problems more alarming
Although many countries are back to the “New Normal”, people across the world are still facing numerous struggles caused by COVID-19. The high unemployment rate makes employees going to work with the anxiety of being fired unexpectedly. Some might even have to work excessively in order to keep their jobs. Online working is also a burden for many workers with miscommunication, unstable Internet connection, or distractions from family members. Being inside for a long time makes mental illness significantly increase. Additionally, the neverending flows of negative news create tension and suspicion. The economic crisis, the ongoing increase of COVID-19 cases and deaths, etc. are spreading widely over newspapers, TV news, or social media. There is so much going on at the same time that a single person can not grasp. It’s extremely crucial for employers to plan out relevant mental health training strategies to comfort, assure, and promote work performance in this difficult time.
What types of topics should mental health training in the workplace cover?
Mental health first aid training
Mental health first aid training equips learners with the knowledge and skills to provide the initial help to a person who has signs of mental illness before appropriate professional help is found. The training’s purpose is to promote help-seeking behaviors and decrease stigmatizing attitudes or discrimination. Mental health first aid training is proven to be effective in developing mental health literacy, confidence in advising others, and also advancing the mental health of participants. Guidelines and resources in the training will assist workers with mental illness by enhancing initial recognition, inceptive help-seeking. These guidelines should follow consultations from health experts and based on the corporate culture, workloads, etc. Consequently, they will increase the provision of timely and appropriate support, which may in turn limit the possible impact mental health illness may have on their working life.
Mental health training for managers
In the workplace context, managers are the ones who hold the understanding of workplace issues and have the authority to implement adjustments to working conditions. With their power, managers can use their knowledge and ability to prevent or reduce mental illness among the workers but are also in a position to worsen the problems with ill-suited responses or inaction. Mental health training in the workplace for managers is aimed to raise the acknowledgment, assist in building suitable strategies, and refine the existing problems in the office to improve the mental health of employees. A study showed the significant economic effect of this type of training: the return of investment is £9·98 for every pound spent, not to mention the prevention of financial loss for affected employees.
Mentoring program for new employees to avoid isolation
A Mentoring program is where a person gets advice, assistance, and support from a suitable mentor when they first join the corporate. It’s academically defined as ‘a personal relationship in which a more experienced (usually older) individual acts as a guide, role model, teacher, and sponsor for a less experienced (usually younger) protégé.’ The word “personal” here stands for a relationship beyond job performance but also about psychological or cultural wellbeing. The mentorship might be short-term (in the 1-2 weeks) or long-term, but some recent projects suggested the long-lasting effectiveness of solving mental health issues in the workplace.
The general term “wellbeing” is a state of mind in which individuals feel that their life is well lived as a result of fulfilling their potential, or have a sensation of autonomy, or control and they acknowledge their sense of living. Workplace wellbeing is a positive attitude towards work, along with physiological and psychological health conditions that innovate job performance. Wellbeing day is a popular event in numerous institutions, in which the whole corporate join a wide range of activities. For instance, health check, team-bonding games, marathons, or singing competitions. There will also be food and drink provided to promote engagement and refill the energy for participants.
So we have looked at the 4 best types of mental health training in the workplace. The next step would be finding the most efficient tools to deliver the training. How about animation? Wanna know why?
Click to see other types of mental health videos
Why using animation in mental health training?
According to the dual-channel assumption, people have two different channels to digest visual and auditory information, and each one is limited in capacity. Therefore, information communicated through both channels is stored in memory better. Written text and images fall into the visual category, while lecture and speech are in the auditory category. Animation, which combines visuals (illustration and subtitles) and audio (voice-over), is that “perfect” dual-channel means to deliver knowledge, especially health messages.
Introducing characters with facial expressions is believed to have positive impacts on mental health training. Animated characters will act as a friend and create a strong bond with the audience, fostering engagement with the training. Diversified facial expressions showing emotions can encourage employees with mental health problems to express their feelings, recognize them, and evaluate their conditions.
Simplify abstract ideas
The popular phrase “a picture tells a thousand words” is perfectly suitable to describe the function of animation in communicating complex information. Explaining abstract concepts like mental disorders or complicated structures like the brain is time-consuming and requires hard effort. But with detailed visualizations, instructive voice-over, speed adjustment, and friendly appearance, animation is undeniably effective in training workers on mental health problems. With animated resources, learners can play, ponder, and develop an understanding of complicated ideas.
Inspire and engage
The use of colorful visualization uplifts viewers’ moods and invites them to engage in mental health training. Mental illness, in turn, will become more approachable but still maintain the importance. Multimedia animation can inspire activity and motivate learning, as suggested by many empirical studies. As a result, the active involvement of audiences in the learning process brings positive results and proves the training to be effective.
How to use animation for mental health training in the workplace effectively?
Appropriate use of visuals
As mentioned above, visualization is the strength of animation when it comes to educating abstracts ideas like mental health issues in the workplace. However, overusing it will eventually lead to distraction for learners and even worse, they might take the training lightly. Moreover, the styles of animation, background, color palette should be considered carefully in order to create an engaging animated video. “Know your audience” is the best advice here, corporate training is very much different from primary school training for example. Whatever choices you make, think purposefully.
Here is the tip to improve visual in animation
Deep research and analysis for relevant implementation
When it comes to mental health training, you just cannot be merely creative. Consulting psychologists is the best option here as they can provide detailed and personalized advice. However, you can read scholarly resources on trusted platforms such as Google Scholar to build your mental health training. This option will be less expensive, but more time-consuming and require you to do a lot of work.
When you’ve created a strong foundation on mental health issues, it’s time to implement your knowledge. Animated videos, presentations, or infographics, here you can be creative. Stories are recommended here, as the story-telling method is the most powerful way to catch attention and gain long-term memory.
Applicable guidance and tips
Sure, everyone loves tips. But is it helpful if you instruct them to, let’s say, go to a faraway place to get a costly mental therapy? The tips provided should be easy-to-follow that the workers can do during the workday or after work. They could be short meditation sessions, simple stretches, or time management techniques like Pomodoro to help the employees relax.
Human plays an important part in the successful path of a company. By understanding the essence and benefits of mental health training in the workplace, you will find a way to grow your enterprise, along with your staff’s loyalty.
Here at F.Learning Studio, we provide an A to Z animation service to help you on developing mental health training in the workplace. We have numerous experiences in producing mental health issues in the workplace videos, and our professionals are skilled to deal with scientific concepts. Contact us now to get started.
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