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Innovation - Mental Health Coaching

Employees, whether they request it or not, whether they express it or not, can suffer from mental health issues and require some form of assistance. Many benefits programs offer EAP assistance or call-centre assistance. But how many offer mental health coaching? This is another tool in the HR professional’s arsenal to help aid employees to not only feel better about their everyday situations, but also keep them engaged, present and productive.

Goal


Create a more productive and mentally healthy workforce by providing innovative mental health coaching.

What is Mental Health Coaching?
Mental health coaching can help employees envision life without depression or other obstacles to emotional well-being. It is a niche within the coaching field, which touches on therapy, but it does not work with or attempt to treat mental illness. Coaches in this niche don’t view mental health in terms of illness or psychological problems; they view it as an issue needing life goals clarification and identification, support and guidance, behaviour modification, and life skills training.

How does Mental Health Coaching improve employee engagement and culture?
Mental health coaching benefits everyone. Obviously the person receiving it is provided with tools to deal with everyday stresses or depression. However, colleagues benefit too as a mentally healthy employee can re-engage and stay engaged in tasks, relationships and possibly improve performance. A fundamental shift in work can occur with increased self-confidence, more satisfaction as well as a willingness to take on greater responsibility and accountability for actions and commitments. As a result, there is less absenteeism and presenteeism and a willingness to be part of teamwork and shared goals.

What are the benefits?
Empowers individuals and encourages them to take responsibility
Increases employee and staff engagement
Improves individual performance
Helps identify and develop high potential employees
Helps identify both organizational and individual strengths and development opportunities
Helps to motivate and empower individuals to excel
Demonstrates organizational commitment to human resource development

How do you conduct Mental Health Coaching in the workplace?
It is essential to identify the kinds of stresses and issues that are causing workers to disengage or be mentally absent from work. Anonymous surveys and research can help but offering mental health coaching within a benefits plan can also help. The benefit must be highlighted and made known to employees through newsletters, lunch-n-learns and should be supported by the very top of management. Front line managers must also be made aware of such programs and encouraged to recommend them as needed in confidential ways.

Action


Apply Mental Health Coaching in the Workplace

Understand the very issues and stresses that are specific to your workplace: What affects employees, what are the trigger points or pain points that case anxiety? What are the external trigger points adding to anxiety?

Increase awareness: Give employees access to education and resources on mental health, including the option for personalized coaching.

Providing manager training: Often the first people to see issues arise are front line managers. They will require an understanding of why people act, think and feel the way they do. There is not a one-size-fits-all solution.

Encourage work-life balance: Mental health coaching can be helpful but even more effective if the workplace environment is geared up for employee needs and work-life commitments.

Work with mental health coaches to monitor engagement: Ensure that the feedback they are providing (with respect towards privacy) is allowing you, the employer, to understand how to make the work environment an as stress-free place as possible. Individual coaching combined with feedback and implementation can work in tandem to ease stress and recognize employee needs.

Reduce stigma: While help may be available to employees there may still be a stigma around discussing it or accepting the help. Make sure programs are discussed, known and recognized as part of the overall wellness of the workforce.

Reference Materials
Mental Health Coaching Versus Mental Health Counseling
Pressure for Psychologically Healthy Workplaces
Benefits of Coaching

Updated on: 12/24/2020

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