Workplaces today face unprecedented challenges. Thus, it is crucial for employees and employers alike to engage in working behaviours that promote and sustain good psychological and physiological health. 

The motivations behind this are important but straightforward and based on evidence. Mentally healthy workers are generally more productive. They tend to be happier, too, as well as more engaged. Embedding positive wellbeing in day-to-day routines can go a long way to sustaining healthy practices.

Championing mental health and wellbeing will reap significant dividends, not only in terms of attracting and retaining personnel but getting the best out of them. After all, people value those who value them.

In September 2022, the World Health Organisation (WHO) published its guidelines on mental health at work. Mental health and the workplace, it stated, are ‘integrally intertwined’. This means that work can contribute to good – and poor – mental health. The WHO pointed out that good mental health is ‘more than the absence of mental health conditions. Rather, mental health is a state of mental well-being that enables people to cope with the stresses of life, to realize their abilities, to learn well and work well, and to contribute to their communities.’

Tellingly, the WHO also linked mental ill health to familiar issues like excessive workloads, long hours and poor peer support. What’s more, according to research conducted by YouGov, over half (52%) of UK workers in say that they feel “very” or “fairly” stressed at work.

In the post-lockdown workplace, where a variety of working patterns are increasingly commonplace, there exists a growing desire to ensure that health and wellbeing are embedded in organisational strategies and people management practices. Responsible organisations are increasingly focused on a renewed sense of employee wellbeing and it is heartening to see just how many are now ensuring that workplace safety – both physical and mental – is of the utmost importance.

While none of this needs to be difficult or cumbersome, it does demand the support of management from the outset. We have to harness a health-focused culture and senior leaders are pivotal. From designing and establishing shared objectives to embracing supportive corporate cultures and encouraging a good work-life balance, the right mix of expertise, guidance and support can make workplace wellbeing an achievable goal for anyone and everyone.

It is worth remembering that workplace wellbeing is not solely an issue relevant to large employers. Breaking down the stigma around mental ill health, encouraging people to seek help and providing information and support for managers is just as critical for small businesses as it is for large-scale corporations.

At Inspire, we strive to practice what we preach. For example, our colleagues, working across all services, were an integral component of the consultation process around establishing Inspire’s core organisational values in 2020. It is these values that are so fundamental to our mission of wellbeing for all.

Furthermore, we host an annual awards ceremony honouring our peers and co-workers for all that they do – a gathering that places their efforts throughout the year front and centre. In doing so, we remind the people who work for Inspire that it is nothing without their compassion, talents, skills and thirst for innovation. Other events, including our summer family barbeque, put team wellbeing and a sense of community at the heart of our activities.

Our people are also able to access the Inspire Support Hub, an online platform offering instant access to a range of information, guidance and screening, all of which is specifically tailored to help care for an individual’s wellbeing requirements. Furthermore, Inspire staff can also make use of our extensive counselling service.

That service, provided by Inspire’s social enterprise arm, Therapeutic and Wellbeing Services, constitutes a vital strand of assistance to a range of organisations, in the public and private sectors, across the island of Ireland.

Indeed, it is one of a number of services available to customers. Our Therapeutic and Wellbeing Services provide a range of wellbeing consultancy, as well as workplace training and interventions aimed at addressing a variety of challenging mental health-related situations. In short, we help employers and employees to thrive.

Mental ill health can affect anyone; nobody is immune. Professional pressures, personal problems and family issues are all facts of life. When they become too much, or threaten to overwhelm us, it’s a relief to have some support on hand.

Needs can change, of course. They might become more intensive or they may ease. It is into this space that Inspire brings its expertise, moulding and delivering the right support in partnership with our customers.

Whether it’s providing trauma-informed therapy, specialist counselling or a suite of coaching and mentoring services, Inspire is an expert in the field. We’re passionate about workplace wellbeing for one simple reason: we know it works.

If you would like to find out more about Inspire’s services, please get in touch via:

This article was first published in the most recent edition of NI Healthcare Review.