Your mental health is NOT your employer’s responsibility

Ok so this title may sound a little harsh. Hear me out…

Naturally mental health is a hot topic in organisations of all sizes. As it should be! Mental health is great. Mental health is what we should aspire to have. It helps us to live productively and deal with everyday life stresses. It doesn’t mean we are happily deluded whatever the situation, it just means we can exercise helpful thinking to help us through whatever life may throw at us. Mental health feels awesome and means we are thriving. And it means more profits – so yes – let’s definitely bring on more mental health.

Given this, it’s understandable that businesses should be looking for ways to promote the how and why of mental health.

Oh and just to clarify, feeling “meh” over an extended period is not mental health. Meh is meh and is far from thriving. So just because we don’t have an official diagnosis of a mental ill-health doesn’t mean that all is well in the kingdom. It means that cognitive fitness training should definitely be high on the agenda before things go even more awry.

There is some very promising research about mindset interventions that can promote mental health in the workplace. (I focused on this a lot for my Masters and it was the topic of my dissertation.) Research also supports the idea that workplaces do need to be seen as offering a supportive environment for people to use these mindset interventions if they so wish. So it would be problematic to teach people about these interventions and then not provide an environment where they can exercise them, right?

The catch?

Ultimately it’s up to the employees to be accountable to actually do the various interventions to train their mental fitness. Learning how is one thing, but actually putting it into practice on a regular basis – well that is absolutely the employee’s responsibility to choose to do so.

Just like when you go to a personal trainer to learn a particular technique you can’t stop there, you actually need to keep doing the training. Whether you do that on your own, or show accountability to hire a trainer to make you do it on an ongoing basis, that’s up to you. And either way you are showing accountability.

So if the employer is providing an avenue for such mental fitness training, ultimately the employee still needs to do the work.

And just because people are genetically predisposed to mental health problems, that doesn’t mean that a diagnosis has to be the result. There are so many things we can do, including mindset interventions that can give us a fighting chance to not just avoid mental health problems, but avoiding extended periods in the “meh” along the way and live more productively.

Research also supports that there is a spillover in the results of these interventions between work and home. So people who show the accountability to put these into place in all situations are likely to get better results.

And in our experience, these people are more likely to show a level of accountability that’s way above average which has so many other positive and productive results for work and life. These interventions promote helpful thinking and that’s great for mental health and therefore thriving in general.

If you would like to speak with us about these mindset interventions to promote accountability and thriving, please get in touch. Or why not show accountability and join us at our next open workshop series to learn more about cognitive energy and cognitive fitness?