Psychological Safety & Mental Health

Why is it essential to balance mental health and work pressure?

Psychological safety and Mental Health are closely related in the workplace. When employees feel safe to speak up, share ideas and feel engaged, it leads to a positive work environment and better mental health. However, when employees feel unsafe, they may not speak up, leading to unaddressed issues and poor mental health. The lack of psychological safety can also lead to burnout.

It's important to remember that individuals have different perspectives. Regular small events can cause a significant reaction due to the build-up of these events impacting physical and psychological safety.

Leaders play a crucial role in promoting a culture of psychological safety. Therefore, it's essential for them to be aware of potential concerns and have leading indicators in place to create the desired work environment.

In Todd Conklins' book The 5 Principles of Human Performance, the 5th Principle is:

'How you respond to failure matters. How leaders act and respond counts. Consider that Psychological safety is a combination of Permission and Trust by the leader, so how the leader responds does matter.'

Psychological Safety is essential to successful teams and other human organisational factors. However, it cannot be assumed it exists without active cultivation and management. Leaders can create psychological safety through their conscious actions, interactions with their teams, and the organisational systems and structures they work within.

Physical Safety, Psychological Safety and Mental Health and well-being are closely related. A positive work environment with psychological safety promotes better mental health, while a lack of psychological safety can lead to poor mental health and a negative work environment.

3 images representing mental health matters

Mental Health Statistics

These statistics are relatively broad, and It is worth noting that mental health statistics can be complex, and there may be variations in how mental health is defined and measured across different countries and cultures.

UK: In a 2020 survey conducted by Mental Health Charity, Mind, 60% of UK employees said that their Mental Health was negatively impacted by work or work-related issues.

The same survey found that only 49% of respondents felt that their employer supported their Mental Health and well-being.

USA: According to an American Psychological Association (APA) 2021 survey, 83% of US workers reported experiencing varying levels of work-related stress.

The same survey found that 48% of US workers reported that their employer did not provide sufficient resources to help manage their stress.

Rest of the world: The World Health Organisation (2017) reported that depression and anxiety disorders are among the leading causes of disability worldwide, and workplace factors can contribute to these conditions.

A global Harvard Business Review (2018) survey found that 58% of respondents reported that their job was a significant source of stress, and 63% said they did not have sufficient time to recover from work-related stress.

These statistics suggest that Mental Health is a significant workplace issue, and employers must value and support their employees' mental (psychological) and physical well-being.

Note: new studies and surveys on mental health in the workplace are regularly conducted, and new data may be available. We will endeavour to update this guidance as and when it changes. [This is up-to-date as of May 2023].

Good to know

We incorporate emotional literacy and neuroscience into our programmes as the key to understanding ourselves is to explore our emotions (e-motion) and what they tell us. Our emotions are our pre-dispositions for action; therefore, the more we understand them, the better equipped we are to deal with what is happening in our minds and body.

Our goal is to help you design work environments that promote mental fitness. We believe that Psychological Safety is a great place to start.

Check out our services and psychological safety programmes for how we can help.

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And discover how we can work together to improve your Psychological Safety.

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