Getting and Showing Support
On average, it takes 11 years from the first sign of struggle to when someone connects with professional support1. What impact could you see on the mental health of your employees if we helped them access the mental health resources they needed sooner?
Getting help can be tricky. There is often fear and stigma preventing people from seeking needed help. Learn about ways to untangle getting – and giving – support and commit to one forward-moving action.
How does someone know they need mental health support?
The short answer is – everyone could benefit from supporting their emotional well-being. There are tools, resources, and practices that everyone can utilize regardless of where they are on the mental health continuum.
Most people don’t wake up and think about how to improve mental health. Instead, we wake up stressed about finances, exhausted from a lack of sleep, or are losing focus at work. Possibly, the focus is solely on physical health.
What do you wake up and think about first?
How can employees get support?
The type of mental health support is unique for each individual’s preferences and state of mental health. It can feel overwhelming to distill what support is needed and what resources are available. Negative stereotypes (stigma), systemic barriers (wait times, cost), and confusion (“what is right for me?”) are just a few of the common barriers to accessing support.
Here are some tips from our Mental Health Coaches to move past the barriers:
- Tune in: Often the first step is learning to listen to your own body and mind — acknowledge emotions and internal feelings, then asking yourself “How do you feel?”
- Perspective: Next is knowing your “why.” Why is this important and how could you benefit from making changes?
- Evaluate: What options are available? Take time to understand mental health resources offered through your employer (including your well-being program!), community support groups, and local and national resources.
- Plan: What is one action that can be accomplished right now from the resources already available? For example, take a few minutes to look for a phone number and make the call with a mental health professional or log into your well-being program to understand what resources you have available.
- Prepare: Take note of where there are internal or external barriers. There are practices available to help move through barriers. Barriers and behavior change is a key aspect to Aduro’s Human Performance Coaching methodology. Learn how Coaches can benefit your employees.
- Learn: As there are successes and hurdles when moving through this journey to improve emotional well-being, it’s important to learn from each action taken to keep moving forward.
As an employer, how can I show my employees support?
Odds are, you already have employees who are struggling with their mental health. A compassionate response to another’s struggles–whether it be a friend, co-worker, team member, family member, or other loved one–can go a long way.
Here are a few tips:
- You don’t have to understand what someone is going through to be there for them. Support can be as simple as being present, listening, and creating a safe space for others to share their concerns without facing judgment. An important aspect of this is creating a sense of psychological safety in your workplace. Dive deep into this topic with a recent webinar we held.
- You don’t have to be perfect to support someone. We all handle life’s struggles differently, which means support will look different for each person. Removing the expectation that you will have the perfect response allows you to show up for the person in a way that feels comfortable to you.
- Be aware of the verbal and non-verbal cues that someone might give when struggling. Look for words, body language, or actions that might indicate someone needs support.
- Know what to say and what not to say. Words are powerful. Be careful not to minimize someone else’s experience or judge someone for what they are going through.
- Be mindful of your boundaries. Avoid taking on too much responsibility or control over the situation. Avoid the “fixer” mentality that many of us are conditioned to have.
Unlock Mental Health at your organization through Leader Training
Managers amplify employee well-being by creating an environment that empowers employees to manage their own well-being. As we know company leaders have an increased focus on supporting employee emotional well-being, managers often feel at a loss to support their team members who are struggling.
The good news is, Aduro has launched a training designed to empower people leaders with information, tools, and coaching to promote the mental health of their team members.
Source: 1) National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) 2004