“How much is too much?”
“I really need a break but… How do I sound it out?”
“Am I really abused or am I just weak?”
These are difficult (yet not uncommon) situations we face at work, but our workplace culture may not necessarily provide safe spaces for such conversations.
When most of us spend more than 50% of our waking hours at work, it is not surprising to learn why workplace environments are such huge predictors of mental health outcomes. While it is heartening to learn that workplace wellness has gradually been included in agendas of governments and businesses – we want to move beyond “trendy” discussions to realistically conceptualise, implement, and evaluate policy options. Even amongst companies who have introduced counselling benefits as part of workers’ welfare, such provisions are arguably only effective to the extent to which they are utilised. Unfortunately for many, the overhanging stigma surrounding help-seeking, and its associations with weakness and shame, continue to make distress something difficult to sound out.
COVID-19 and its demands for innovation have provided us with an invaluable opportunity to re-think work and mental health. In this panel conversation, we will explore what businesses (whether as employees, employers, or HR) can do to affect positive changes at the workplace. Specifically, we will learn about existing approaches taken by companies, and deliberate on their efficacy and scalability. In addition, the panel will also explore concrete steps we can take to safeguard the mental well-being of both ourselves and our fellow co-workers.