Is it 'Time to Talk' in the workplace? | DAM support Time to Talk day | February 6th
Today is 'It's Time to Talk Day' - a chance for us all to choose to talk about Mental Health and listen to friends, collegues and family.
It may come as little surprise, but here at DAM we love to talk. Talking to staff and employers is a large part of what our job role involves. But of course, it's one thing talking to family, friends and collegues about hobbies, work, interests and another to open up about Mental Health. Often this topic can be considered so personal that we may not even wish to share it with our closest family and friends.
Of course, there is no denying that talking about Mental Health can feel akward and uncomfortable, but it doesn't have to. Which is exactly what 'Time to Talk' Day is all about.
So we want to help you breal away from this stigman and start the conversation... what is it they say, 'a problem shared is a problem halved'?
Is it 'Time to Talk' in the workplace?
Having operated in the financial industry for over 20 years now, Mental Health wellbeing is a topic that we come across on a very regular basis, as financial stress can often play a significant role in affecting someone's Mental Wellbeing.
As part of our role as financial planners, we regularly share very personal conversations with many of our clients, and over time often find that they open up and more with regards to their financial and personal situations. Of course, the more we know about our clients, the better we can help them plan for their future. But as we know, opening up about your personal situation is certainly easier said than done.
One of the factors that we believe can play a big role in supporting this conversation is the sort of environment and conversation that we encourage, as we often find that providing a relaxed and open environment where clients can feel less 'on the spot' can really help to encourage them to open up more and share 'their story'. That's why we think it's important that you help to normalise the conversation and create as relaxed an environment as possible. According to Hospitality Action, you shouldn't wait for the perfect moment, but instead look to build the conversation into the working day as the idea is to normalise conversations about Mental Health, not over-dramatize them. People are more likely to speak openly when they're going about their day's work and don't feel under scrutiny.
Time and time again, we are also surprised at the number of employees we speak to that are unaware of the employee assistance programme that their employer already has in place for them. Often overlooked as an added benefit of their group life assurance policy, an employee assitance programme (EAP) is an employee benefits programme that assists employees with personal and/ or work related problems that may impact their job performance, health, or mental and emotional wellbeing.
EAPs generally offer free and confidential assessments, short-term counselling, referrals and follow-up services for employees, with a variety of programmes available than can assist with problems both inside and outside of the workplace. So rather than putting the responsbility on yourself to become a Mental Health expert, look for other sources of help that may already be available for your employees, such as the EAP - it may be the case that they will feel more comfortable opening up to a 'stranger' than their employer in the first instance anyway.
Visit the Hospitality Action Website to find out more about how you can help start a conversation: https://www.hospitalityaction.org.uk/blog-and-news/2020/february/on-time-to-talk-day-we-want-to-encourage-you-to-start-a-conversation-about-how-you-re-feeling/