A ten-point checklist to improve staff mental health

This checklist will help staff assess where they are on the mental health spectrum

Despite their good intentions, many employers still struggle with what to do to support employees’ mental health issues in the workplace.

While the strategies and approaches to improve staff mental health are many, you can make a start by asking the workforce to run a diagnostic on their own mental health via this simple ten-point checklist, which can be shared via internal email communications or during a lunch and learn session.

  1. Basic wellness checks – should you be doing more exercise, improving your diet, or getting more sleep? 
  2. Challenge your thinking – if you find yourself taking a negative perspective on work issues could there be a more balanced or alternative way of looking at things? Write down what’s troubling you and challenge it.
  3. Make lists and plan workloads – by ticking off  jobs on your list, you’ll start to recognise your accomplishments and feel more in control.
  4. Find time to relax – reset your mind, listen to your favourite music or take a walk for air. Whether it’s at home or on your lunch break, make time for you. Switching off will also improve your sleep health, allowing you to tackle tasks with a fresh head.
  5. Be fair on yourself – think about what you have the power to change in your current circumstances and prioritise these things, rather than worrying about areas you can’t control. Keep things in perspective. Ask yourself ‘What’s the worst that could happen?’ It’s probably not as bad as you imagine.
  6. Try not to avoid – whether it’s faking a sick day or putting something off, ignoring the source of your stress won’t make it disappear and may only add to your to-do list.
  7. Identify the real problem – are you afraid of failing? Sometimes we’re our own worst critics.  Think about what you’d say to a friend or a colleague in the same situation. Would you be as hard on them as you are on yourself? 
  8. Protect your work-life balance – don’t abandon social plans for the sake of working late. Overtime can lead to diminishing returns on productivity. Making time to catch up with friends and family will boost your mood and take your mind off work pressures.
  9. Avoid unhealthy habits – excessive food or drink consumption may offer temporary relief, but it won’t help in the long run. Explore good habits that can boost your mood and energy levels. Exercise releases a chemical in the brain called dopamine which gives you a healthy high.
  10. Don’t bottle it up – it’s helpful to share your concerns, so speak to your manager or a supportive colleague.  A problem shared is a problem halved.


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