12 Jan 2022

Mentoring for mental health in the workplace

For many of us, work is a major part of our lives and a place we spend the majority of our time. It's our source of income and a place to connect with some of our favourite people. Everyone should feel happy in their jobs. It's vital that as an employer you prioritise the physical and mental health of your employees.

Giving attention to mental health in the workplace has never been more relevant with statistics revealing that 1 in 4 people are affected by mental health issues at some point in their lives. Statistics also show that only 13% of employees would actually feel comfortable addressing mental health in the workplace, due to the stigma associated with it.

Thankfully, due to the open conversations being had and awareness being created, companies are now more informed on the value of employee wellbeing. Businesses are now dedicating resources and investing into the mental health of their employees, recognising the benefits associated with promoting a company culture that cares and respects the well-being of its staff members.

Mentoring and mental health go hand in hand, with studies showcasing the benefits it has on both professional and personal development. Let us tell you why you should implement a mentoring program to improve the mental health of your employees, here are the four main reasons:

Mentoring builds hope

One of the most well-known advantages of a mentoring relationship is the impact it has on career progression. Oftentimes, those suffering from mental health issues have anxiety and fear for the future, making it challenging to plan ahead. Your employee having a mentor allows them to gain guidance for their professional and personal lives, empowering them to make a clear actionable plan for the future whilst getting the support they need to develop their skills and progress within their career. Structure and routine are greatly essential for mental health, which can be implemented through a mentoring relationship by allowing the mentee to make long-term goals that they're held accountable for and providing them with a structure to help them develop within the workplace.

Mentoring combats loneliness

Did you know that 61% of employees report feeling lonely at work? After endless lockdowns and working from home full time, many of us are now realising what it feels like to be isolated from the world. Feeling isolated is one of the most common feelings experienced by those dealing with mental health issues, particularly within the workplace where people are still feeling the negative stigma that can be associated, making these individuals feel it’s better to stay quiet rather than reach out for help.

Mentoring has been credited as an effective way to help combat isolation. The implementation of a mentoring program within your organisation can provide your employees with the opportunity to have a support system in place. People in a mentoring relationship have someone they trust who they can turn to when they face any obstacles. For those dealing with mental health problems, speaking and reaching out to people when they are struggling can often feel overwhelming, however, a mentor can help them overcome their challenges with support and guidance. Mentoring programs also help with networking and connecting with individuals on a personal level, which can help your employees feel less alone in the workplace.

Mentoring reduces stress and anxiety

Workplace stress and anxiety are significant not only to the employee but to the success of your business. In the UK, 79% of the workforce feel stressed with 31% of adults encountering a type of anxiety disorder within their lifetime. Stress and anxiety is something that we’ve all more than likely endured, either at work or within our personal life. These mental health issues are known to dramatically affect well-being and create a barrier to accomplishing everyday tasks.

Mentoring has been said to help considerably minimise both stress and anxiety in mentees and mentors. Mentoring relationships provide an opportunity to help the mentee combat workplace stress by showing them that their problems can be defeated with the direction of an individual who has been through similar circumstances. Individuals usually experiencing an anxiety disorder may feel troubled by the minutest of tasks or feel hesitant about their surroundings. Mentoring also helps lessen the levels of anxiety, by helping them find resolutions for workplace woes, and creating a trusting environment where they feel more comfortable.

Mentoring increases self-confidence

A decreased self-confidence is one of the most commonly seen limitations faced by those with mental health issues. Self-confidence plays a crucial role in both the personal and professional lives of your employees. Low self-confidence levels within the workplace have been linked to decreased employee engagement, increased employee turnover, lower production levels and lack of communication skills. A mentor will work with the mentee to develop levels of self-confidence by addressing barriers such as self-doubt, workplace matters and imposter syndrome. Mentors are there to give direction and assistance to their mentees, encouraging them to dramatically alter the way in which they see themselves and creating a safe atmosphere where the mentee can express themselves without fear of judgement.

Read more on PushFar's website.

If you're a CIH member and would like to started with PushFar, you need to be logged in to MyCIH*before visiting our mentoring page where you can register to use the mentoring programme. You can then take a few minutes to update your profile before you explore and get familiar with the programme!

*Members who have not created a MyCIH profile will need to do so with the email address on their profile. It is only once this is done that you will be able to access the platform and your correct profile.