14th October 2020
Canadian Mental Illness week began Sunday October 4th, and ended on Saturday October 10th with world mental health day, so let’s take a quick look at mental health and mindfulness in the workplace.
Mental health is a topic I believe is gaining recognition for its role in wellness within the workplace, as well as everyday life. Rightly so.
We have all heard the statistics, here are a few as reminders:
As mentioned in a Carbon Safety blogpost around this time last year “Our young may be most at risk. Statistically suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death for children and youth (10-19), and young adults (20-29).”
1st for children and youth is accidents, and preventable injuries. There are some serious workplace considerations here for mental health and perhaps also mindfulness.
Have you considered the benefits of mindfulness? It is a term that can mean many things to many people.
Is it something that can be encouraged in your workplace?
Is it something we can encourage new and young workers to embrace?
There certainly appears to be benefits to mindfulness, but it’s not a new concept.
Last year Yvonne Rigsby-Jones, a Snuneymuxw First Nation Elder in training, took time to speak at our Wellness in the Workplace Event. Yvonne spoke with passion about the importance of being aware, and mindful of others.
Yvonne stressed the importance of being in the moment, and wondered if we really understand the term “mindful” as we use it in the day to day.
These are important values and considerations for the Snuneymuxw people, and they are interwoven with traditional Snuneymuxw beliefs, and culture.
Yvonne provides some sage advice given some of the challenges we face in todays world.
Mindfulness (some examples of mindfulness here) is an aspect of mental health that many advocates believe can help bring balance, and improve psychological health.
It can be described as the ability to be aware of our surroundings, and our interactions in them. It also includes becoming less overly responsive and reactive.
These practices can help bring a more balanced approach to understanding a situation, condition, experience, or environment.
An article on the American Psychological Association website provides an overview of the connections between mental health and mindfulness, and evidence of both mental and physical benefits.
The article defines mindfulness as “a moment-to-moment awareness of one’s experience without judgment.” Below is a summary of the articles observations on benefits:
Mental health in the workplace is critical. Particularly as we adapt and manage life during a pandemic.
Here’s some work place considerations in relation to mindfulness, and mental health:
Be mindful of mindfulness. We have an opportunity to explore a simple, traditional approach to bringing some balance to our lives, and protect our mental health.
In particular, as an employer, what can you do to encourage mental health, and mindfulness within the workplace? There would appear to be clear work related benefits.
Consider as an employer how you can encourage and support a healthy and positive state of mind for your workers. Particularly at risk young workers, between the ages of 15 and 24.
With young members of our workforce there is a higher risk of mental health issues. Practicing mindfulness may have the greatest benefit for these younger at risk members of our communities.
Consider encouraging mindfulness, it just might make a difference in someone’s life, and change their mind.
Posted in: Safety Blog