Covid-19 – Remote Working, Isolation and Mental Health
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Covid-19 – Remote Working, Isolation and Mental Health

The discussion around Covid-19 – Remote Working, Isolation and Mental Health, has never been more topical. Sue Barnes, Paraplanner at MB+M, identifies the key issues, suggested approaches to manage these, and finishes with what MB+M is doing to in its own business,

Following Article By Sue Barnes, Paraplanner, Wealth Creation, MB+M

In the current climate, now more than ever, we should ask each other and our staff; Are you OK? Isolation, social distancing, constant wearing of a cloth face mask, and not being able to leave the house, or enjoy the company of other people are likely to increase your risk factors for mental health conditions such as depression.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) defines mental health as ‘a state of well-being in which every individual realises his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully and can contribute to her or his community’.

For most businesses our employees are our biggest asset, for MB+M that is certainly the case, and we need to be ensuring that we protect our assets, both physically and mentally. Mental health conditions are costing Australian businesses an estimated $11 billion a year through absenteeism, reduced work performance, increased turnover rates and compensation claims.

Could your business afford the outcomes of mental health conditions?

We all have a designated first aide officer in our businesses but do we have a trained mental health first aider?

Would you know what to do if someone in your business was pacing back and forth, muttering to themselves, sitting in the foetal position or just not being themselves? Approximately 45% of people aged between 18 and 65 will experience some kind of mental health condition in their life. This rate is much higher than cardiac arrest, yet the number of people that can help someone facing a mental health emergency is nowhere near the number that could perform CPR. An alarming figure is that working mothers in high-powered positions are more likely to experience a mental health condition due to the stressors of maintaining a work life, and balancing that with an adequate home life. To help them cope and better manage the symptoms that come with a mental health condition, many of them will look for some sort of reprieve. That may be in the form of cannabis-derived products such as this vape cartridge ( which are said to help treat stress, depression, and anxiety. Though not all reprieves will be beneficial to your worker or the workplace. If you have an employee struggling with alcohol addiction, there is a high chance their mental health is not in a good place. Coping with mental health can be a challenge due to a lack of support in the workplace. Many would choose to find a NYC psychotherapy specialist or similar to counsel them, however lack of flexibility from managers can mean opportunities to take therapy are limited.

What can you do for your employees?

  • Keeping in contact with your employees helps to build a sense of belonging and connectedness thus helping to promote staff wellbeing.
  • Take note and keep updated about what you can do for employee health, from the mental to the physical.
  • Ensure your interactions are not only about work, ask about their weekend, how their children are, or how their dog is enjoying all the extra attention.
  • Have the hard conversations when required. If you feel like your employee is not coping ensure, there is an opportunity to discuss it with you or someone else they feel comfortable with.
  • Listen.
  • Help to reduce the stigma associated with mental health conditions. The black dog institute fact vs fiction table below can clarify some misconceptions of mental health conditions.
  • Take a mental health first aide course.
  • Provide some mindfulness videos to your employees to start or finish their day with positiveness.
  • Look after your own mental health.
  • Discuss a suitable time for your employees to be able to attend mental health appointments.
Covid-19 – Remote Working, Isolation and Mental Health

What is MB+M doing for their employees?

With our office now working from home we have sought to continue communicating efficiently, for both work and to maintain social interaction. We have created various social pages where we can all contribute and share a laugh.

Rebecca Woolstencroft, CEO of MB+M, wanted to ensure her employees know MB+M appreciated them during this challenging time. She sent every one of us a care package with stress balls, chocolates, notepads, pens, stickers, amongst a few of the items found in the post, along with a note to let us know that we are being thought of and that MB+M values their employees.

What will you do to improve the mental health outcomes of your employees, friends and family?

There are many online resources available to increase your knowledge, provide a source of help for yourself or your employees. Below is a list of just some resources available:

Sue Barnes
Wealth Creation

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