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1. Mental health is important to everyone in the workplace . Page 04
2. What can you do to promote your mental health? . Page 05
4. Supporting colleagues with mental health problems . Page 08
5. Steps your workplace can take for better mental health . Page 10
Published by:BKK Bundesverband / ENWHP SecretariatKronprinzenstraße 645128 Essen
Authors: Lee Knifton, Verona Watson (Mental Health Foundation), Heleen den Besten, Rob Gründemann, Anja Dijkman (TNO)
Editor: Dr. Reinhold Sochert (ENWHP Secretariat)Graphic Design: www.berliner-botschaft.dePrint: Woeste GmbHStatus: 2009
Disclaimer This guide does not supersede any national employment guidance. Therefore no recommendations constitute a warranty, representation or undertaking ETC laws and guidance. The network and its organisational partners will try and ensure the adequacy of its recommendations and reviews but this does not constitute any legal advice and shall not be liable for any loss or damage that may be suffered, whether directly or indirectly, as a result.
1. Mental health is important to everyone in
2. What can you do to promote your mental
As an employee you have the right to expect your Mental ill health?
in the workplace. This can be informal such as
employer and managers to create the conditions The term ‘mental ill health' covers a wide range of
Talking about your feelings can help you to maintain having breaks and lunches together. You can also
for mentally healthy workplaces. But you are also problems which affect someone's ability to get on
good mental health. It can also help you to cope help to create a positive workplace by organising or
responsible for your own mental health by taking with their daily life. Mental health problems can af-
when you are feeling worried. Speaking to col-
participating in social groups or activities. Be crea-
care of yourself and your colleagues. The European fect anyone, of any age and background, as well as
leagues about your feelings, or sharing a problem, tive and think of activities that everyone can join
Network for Workplace Health Promotion (ENWHP) having an impact on the people around them such
is not a weakness. It is part of maintaining positive in. There will be additional benefits if the activities
is working with organizations across Europe to de-
as their family, friends or carers. Most people can
mental health and taking control of your wellbeing. involve physical activity, or learning a new skill or
velop a mental health promotion campaign in work-
and do recover. On average one in four people will
Being heard can make you feel supported and con-
places called work. in tune with life. move europe.
experience some kind of mental health problem
nected or less isolated. This does not need to be a
over the course of a year. However, of these, only
formal process but part of everyday conversations. Zero tolerance
a relatively small number will be diagnosed with a
If you have a problem at work or feel distressed, Significant workplace distress is linked to bullying
serious and enduring mental illness. Common men-
you need to let someone know about it. Or you or misuse of power. Bullying can be overt such as
· promote positive mental health in the workplace
tal disorders usually consist of experiences such as
may have problems that are not to do with your physical or verbal aggression or intimidation. It can
· understand and prevent issues that cause stress depression and anxiety, more serious illnesses are
work, but are affecting how you cope at work. It also be subtle such as making fun of people, exclud-
schizophrenia or personality disorders. With sup-
may seem hard to talk about how you are feeling, ing people from opportunities or promotion unrea-
· support employees who develop mental health port, most people recover from their mental health
but talking about something that is upsetting you sonably, or undermining them. Anyone can bully or
problems, so it is important to overcome the stig-
be bullied and it can be a difficult issue to establish.
· develop effective policies to reintegrate and ma associated with mental health problems in the
However, employees that are particularly vulner-
employ people who have experienced mental workplace.
· sort through the problem, or see it in a new way
able are those who may experience disadvantage
· ease built-up tension and gain new insight into a due to gender, low income/poverty, sexuality, race,
work situation that is causing the problem
ethnicity, age, and employees experiencing men-
· find out that you are not alone, and that other tal health problems. In workplaces employees who
The World Health Organization defines positive
have temporary contracts or low job security are
mental health as “a state of well-being in which
· with the help of a colleague, identify options or also vulnerable. As an employee you can ensure
every individual realizes his or her own potential,
that you do not go along with bullying in any form.
can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work
Support rather than ignore people if they have been
productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a
Sharing your feelings may encourage colleagues bullied and work with colleagues to ensure that bul-
contribution to her or his community. Employees
to do the same. It is important to make the time lying policies are established and upheld.
with good mental health will perform better in their
to listen to others, to be supportive and respectful.
work.” So it is about the way you think, feel, and
Practise your skills of talking and listening – both as Look out for your physical health
behave. Many people don't feel comfortable talking
a way of connecting to others and as a way of shar-
about their feelings, but it is healthy to understand
Improving your physical health can promote posi-
and share with others how you are feeling. There
tive mental health. The first thing you can do is
are also steps you can take to promote positive
‘keep active' at work. Regular daily exercise can
Having supportive friends, family and community boost your confidence and self esteem, help you to networks help us to deal with life and reduce our sleep and function better. Look at your working day sense of isolation. They provide emotional support, and see where you can fit in short bouts of activity.
fun and alternative perspectives. Social networks promote positive mental health and help to prevent You could:mental ill health. Yet we often forget that we spend a large part of our lives with our ‘workplace com-
· walk for part or all of your journey to work
munity'. So wherever possible ‘make connections' · cycle to work
2 | What can you do to promote your mental health?
2. What are the effects and costs of the
· abandon the lift or escalators – take the stairs
It is important to work. in tune with life.
And that Physical symptoms might include:
means controlling stress at work. Stress is:
· make time for some activity before or after work
– why not get together with colleagues to join a
“The adverse reaction people have to excessive · indigestion and nausea
pressures or other types of demand placed on · headachesthem.” (Source: Health and Safety Executive UK)
There are also links between diet and mental
health. Eating a generally healthy, balanced diet can
Stress is not an illness but if it becomes excessive
improve general mood and concentration levels and
and/or prolonged, mental and physical illness may
help protect against feelings of anxiety and depres-
develop. Work is generally good for people if it is Emotionally you are likely to:
sion. Missing meals at work, eating on the run, and
well designed, but it can also be a great source of
relying upon sugary snacks or high-caffeine drinks
pressure. Pressure can be positive and a motivating · get irritable or angry
can create stress. So try and ensure that you:
factor, it can help us achieve our goals and perform · be anxiousbetter. Stress is a natural reaction when this pres-
sure becomes excessive. Anyone can suffer from · be hypersensitive, drained and listless
· relax and help your digestion with gentle activity
work-related stress, no matter what work they do.
If you think you are suffering from any mental
Stress produces a range of signs and symptoms, health problem or any of the symptoms identified
We often drink alcohol to change our mood or to
the following is not an exhaustive list of the symp-
in the table above, it may be advisable to speak to
deal with fear or loneliness. However, too much al-
toms of stress but if you feel that your attitudes a doctor or GP. It is also a good idea to talk to your
cohol damages the body and leads to mental health
or behaviour is changing due to a situation at work line manager, Human Resources department or
or home, these may indicate stress and a need to Occupational Health expert. It is important to deal seek further advice from your GP:
with mental health problems early and to take ac-tion. Review your lifestyle to see if you can identify
any contributing factors. This may be due to work-load issues such as doing several jobs at once, or
taking work home with you. However, check our
positive mental health section for ideas that you
· avoid friends and family· have sexual problems
· be more indecisive· find it hard to concentrate· suffer loss of memory· feelings of inadequacy· low self esteem
Supporting colleagues with mental health problems | 4
4. Supporting colleagues with mental health
Even when you take steps to promote positive participate and remain involved in everyday social
mental health and to manage stress, some people activities. Keep in touch with people if they have a will still go on to develop mental health problems. period of absence.
Mental health problems are common and can be
experienced by anyone. For example, every year, Become informed
10% of people in the workforce will experience There are a range of courses and workshops about depression. There are different forms of depres-
mental health that can help you to learn more. And
sion and it is different from feeling down or sad. there are also many local and confidential helplines,
The person may experience persistent feelings of advice and support services, including (Source:
tiredness, negativity, anxiety, helplessness, worth-
Think Fit! Think Well! A simple guide to mental
lessness, and difficulty concentrating or function-
wellbeing for employees, British Heart Foundation):
ing well at work. Sometimes there is a direct cause for a mental health problem, such as a life event, relationship issues, worries about finances or un-
employment. A cause can also be problems within Helpline: +44 (0)8456 341414 the workplace, like too high workload, a shortage www.b.eat.co.ukof support or a conflict with colleagues or manager. Sometimes there is no clear reason. However, with Depression Alliance
Seek support earlyDeciding when you need help can be difficult. Eve-
International Stress Management Association UK
ryone feels stressed, depressed or anxious from +44 (0)7000 780430
time to time, but if the feelings continue for some www.isma.org.uktime (let's say about two weeks), prevent you from eating, sleeping or working, or interfere with the Mental Health Foundationquality of your relationships, or if you want to harm +44 (0)20 7803 1101
yourself, then that is the time to ask for help. In www.mentalhealth.org.ukprinciple, seek help from health services or your employer early. Problems with workload, support, MINDor relationships with colleagues can worsen mental Information line: +44 (0)845 766 0163health and your employer has a duty to intervene. www.mind.org.ukThey may be able to review your work commit-ments or specific issues, but they can only do this No Panicif you let them know.
Helpline: +44 (0)8080545www.nopanic.org.uk
You can be a supportive colleague by listening to OCD Action (Obsessive Compulsive Disorders)someone if they are experiencing a mental health Helpline: +44 (0)845 390 6232 problem, It is particularly important to ensure that www.ocdaction.org.ukwhen someone is experiencing a mental health problem that they are given every opportunity to
Steps your workplace can take for better mental health | 5
5. Steps your workplace can take for better
· Ask about the support the organisation may pro-
vide, for example, occupational health service,
counselling, an Employee Assistance Program (EAP), brief therapies, or health checks.
· Consult with your line manager, works council,
health and safety services, or human resource department about ‘reasonable adjustments'
How you think and feel at work wil depend on
example where you sit, or what to display around
such as: working shorter working hours, hav-
having an environment that promotes and supports
ing time away from work to attend counselling
your mental wel being and reduces stress.
· a better work-life balance. That is about having
or other treatment, having more supervision at
some control over when, where and how you
work, changing the role you perform, working
work, so that you are able to enjoy quality of life.
from home for a time, a phased return to work
Some of the most important causes of stress at work
If you feel that the balance between your work
are time pressures, work overload and understaff-
and the rest of your life is causing you difficul-
ing, al lead to too many demands being made. With
ties, find out what adjustments may be possible.
your col eagues, works council, occupational health and safety service or line manager think about:
Job rolesYour roles and responsibilities at work need to be
· The amount and complexity of your work. Can clearly defined.
you cope with? Do you have the right equipment and enough time to do the job?
· Make sure you have a clear and up-to-date job de-
· Realistic targets. Are your individual and depart-
scription that accurately describes what you do.
mental targets realistic and achievable? Ask for
· If you report to more than one line manager, be
clear about the demands being made on your
· Your work environment. If there is a problem
time so that expectations are reasonable.
with noise, ventilation, humidity or temperature,
· Make sure you have the training and qualification
discuss it and look for improvements.
· Your rewards. Become noticeable if you feel you
are not being rewarded for the job you do suf-
ficiently, not just through pay but also through Organisational change and insecure employment staff benefits, recognition and prospects for ca-
status are both associated with an increase in mental
health problems. Sometimes organisational change
· Your working hours. You should make sure you may be unavoidable, but the way it is handled and
take time off in lieu as soon as possible after the amount of accurate information provided and working extra hours. You should always take the opportunity to have some input into plans can your breaks and al your holiday entitlements.
make al the difference. If you don't feel you are be-ing given accurate and up-to-date information about
changes, ask for it. Get together with col eagues to
Having more control over the way you do your work, put together questions you have about the planned and influence over your workplace, can help reduce change and place them in team meetings, group stress levels. Work with your col eagues, works meetings and al -staff meetings.
council, occupational health and safety service or line manager to look at ways you can, where pos-
Having a supportive environment and positive rela-tionships at work makes it easier for you to main-
· more variety in the tasks you perform at work
tain good mental wellbeing. It helps if you feel able
to trust others and be open, and feel valued and
able to acknowledge problems and ask for help. If
· some control over your work environment – for you consider necessary:
European Network for Workplace Health Promotion – ENWHP
health at the workplace. The ENWHP Secretariat
The European Network for Workplace Health Pro-
and the co-ordination of the “Move Europe” cam-
motion was founded in 1996 by a number of or-
paign is based at the BKK Bundesverband in Es-
ganisations in the field of public health and occu-
pational safety and health. Today, members from
31 European countries share the common vision The campaign work. in tune with life. move europe
“Healthy Employees in Healthy Organisations”. In is co-funded by the European Commission under
ongoing cooperation the ENWHP has developed the Public Health Programme 2003 – 2008
uniform quality criteria and disseminates exam-
ples of good practice to elevate the importance of www.enwhp.org
NetSafe and Work in New Zealand Ian Mitchell, FNZCS What is Unacceptable Content? We are talking about erotic content, pornography and racist, gender-biased and hate content here. The definitions are irrelevant to this presentation. We shall group the above as Unacceptable Content. When is Email and Web Access at Work Not Work? We are distinguishing between work and personal email and w
Atherosclerosis Supplements 12, no. 1 (2011) 13–184 762 5-AMINOLEVULINIC ACID-DERIVED PROTOPORPHYRIN IX heart disease event were constructed. A Cox Proportional Hazard model was MEDIATED FLUORESCENCE DIAGNOSIS AND PHOTODYNAMIC applied to the data with stratiﬁcation for gender and smoking status. THERAPY OF MACROPHAGES WITHIN THE ATHEROSCLEROTIC Results: Seventy-four events were rec