Work-related mental health conditions are overtaking physical safety as a critical risk in the workplace.

The World Health Organisation says anxiety and depression increased globally by 50% between 1990 and 2013 (Lancet, 2016). In May 2018, the American Psychiatric Association announced another 5% increase.

Leaders are scrambling to address the issue but it is so complex that many choose to turn a blind eye. They feel incapable of creating change.

The starting point is to be clear on definitions. When the term “mental health” is used, it is often thought of as a person’s level of depression or anxiety and their ability to bounce back from these conditions.

Mental health definitions

Clear definitions can help us address and solve the challenge:

Mental health = calm, alert, focused, agile, decisive.

Mental distress = distressed, anxious, depressed, hostile, withdrawn or delusional.

Resilience = a learned ability to recognise risk, bounce skilfully, and secure robust physical, emotional and mental well-being.

Diagnosis Mental Emotional Physical
Depression Confusion
Indecisiveness
Pessimism
Sadness
Disappointment
Fatigue/Apathy
Sleep Disturbance
Digestion Issues
Anxiety Worry
Catastrophising
Indecisiveness
Fear
Dread
Distress Symptoms
Hostility Tunnel Vision
Blaming
Anger
Frustration
Immune Compromise
High Blood Pressure

Resilience interventions deliver a 30% reduction in “mental distress” symptoms

At the Resilience Institute, we measure the impact of our resilience interventions using the Resilience Diagnostic assessment. Our latest global report reveals that training interventions deliver an average 30% reduction in symptoms of depression (with results up to 82%) and a 32% average reduction in anxiety symptoms (with the highest result of an 86% reduction).

With antidepressants having a 3% impact, and sleep 6%, it is clear that people need an integral and practical solution to their mental distress.

Factor-level results from a sample of over 3000 participants include:

Results, as published in the Global Resilience Report 2018

Enabling leaders to have more effective conversations about mental health

Our program, Mental Fitness, has been developed to help leaders understand mental health, have effective conversations and improve productivity.

Core components of the program:

  1. Understand the impact of mental health at work
  2. Taking care of themselves
  3. Have effective conversations about mental health
  4. Creating resilience in their teams

Available both as face-to-face workshops, webinars and video training delivered via the Resilience App, the content includes:

  • Defining mental illness
  • Symptoms and Signs
  • Taking care of yourself
  • Effective conversations
  • The leader’s role and boundaries
  • Securing support
  • Crisis management
  • From Distress to Flow

Mental Fitness introduction

Dr Sven introduces the Leader’s Guide to Mental Fitness program.

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