Why employers must consider corporate wellbeing programs that focus on mental health

Woman phone smiling online

A study published in the ‘Journal of Clinical Psychiatry’ reveals that 85% of employee mental health problems go undiagnosed. Given the stigma that surrounds mental health, what are the odds that your employees are experiencing an undiagnosed mental health problem?

Mental Health conditions are costing Australian businesses $11 billion annually in the form of reduced productivity, absenteeism, presenteeism and direct employee health care costs. It’s all the more reason for employers to actively work towards creating a holistic work environment that attributes equal importance to mental and physical health.

Wellness programs that encourage healthy physical activities might be addressing only one half of the equation.

A well-rounded corporate wellness program like the one offered by Happy Melon, can address both these concepts separately and help employers create a holistic work environment. 

Corporate Mindfulness for the mind

Employees today are constantly surrounded by technology that’s bombarding them with information 24/7. Emails, social media, fast approaching deadlines, chat tools, there’s so much going on all the time, that it can be overwhelming. 

Mindfulness is defined as taking a few moments to detach oneself from our surroundings. There’s a growing body of research that shows that it is very effective in reducing stress, depression and anxiety. In some cases, it might be even more effective than frontline medication used to treat these conditions.

A corporate mindfulness program encourages your employees to take timed pauses from work and meditate. Even brief meditation can help improve attention and focus in employees, which positively influences productivity. An on-going mindfulness program can help train employees to avoid distractions and improve their focus.

Consider it like attention training, which is just one of the first-hand benefits that comes with it. Second-hand benefits include an improvement in overall mental health, a boost in morale and engagement.   

Yoga for the body and mind

Yoga is a holistic discipline that blends exercise and mindful meditation to improve all aspects of well-being. Yoga exercises involve stretches and deep breathing exercises that address the most common problems caused due to a sedentary lifestyle (all day sitting at work).

This could be premature degeneration of the spine and hindered lung capacity. To add to this, it can help reduce lower back pain, neck pain, and bring about a marked improvement in overall physical health.

All of these are conditions that have been linked with absenteeism and reduced productivity in employees around the world. There are mental health benefits of Yoga that go beyond this. Workplace stress is costing the Australian economy $14.81 billion each year. This statistic does not include the indirect cost that rising stress levels are associated with, such as attrition related staffing expenses.

According to a study conducted by Oxford University, yoga is very effective at helping reduce stress at the workplace. Reduced stress can reduce the risk of the employee developing clinical depression and anxiety.

Bringing customization to wellness

Corporate wellbeing programs must offer flexible and customized wellness solutions that are tailored around an employee’s physical and mental wellbeing.  Think programs that consider an employee’s personal preferences and schedule, for instance.

A cookie cutter approach to wellness might not only discourage employees from engaging in programs, it may also not yield the intended outcome.  That’s why it’s crucial to partner with a corporate wellness program that offers personalised wellness solutions, that’s flexible and that emphasises on mental health along with physical fitness.