Mentoring and mental health
Given the unusual nature of 2020, there's rarely been a better opportunity to discuss the effects of work on mental health, the importance of mental health and how business owners can safeguard the health of their employees through peer mentoring.
Different groups have experienced the effects of the coronavirus lockdown differently, but a common trend is the negative impact on mental health.
Good mental health is an asset, linked to good physical health - both of which are important to maintaining a positive social- and work-life.
Poor mental health has been closely linked to disasters suggesting that the current response to the Covid pandemic could have a significant, negative effect on our mental health through increased exposure to stressors.
This is made all the worse by the loss of coping mechanisms for many - socializing with friends and family has become difficult and awkward, we have become physically and emotionally distant from those who we would normally rely on for support in tough times.
Reports indicate that the effects on mental health could have long-term repercussions that will be felt for decades in the future.
The perks of good mental health in business
A work environment that fosters good mental health can facilitate innovativeness and productivity. Conversely one that does not is more likely to suffer a loss of worker motivation, reducing workflow and ultimately resulting in a loss of profit.
There is ample evidence that supportive business practices positively effect employee work outcomes such as organisational commitment and job performance as they heighten perceptions of mental and physical well-being.
Similarly, studies have found that formal mental-health mentoring provided by businesses related positively to mentees' commitment and greatly reduced employee turnover.
What is a mental health mentor?
Mentors are trusted advisors with life experience and knowledge that can help support your work and personal life through passive guidance. Mentors operate across the spectrum, from business, finance and career planning, helping to set personal goals and then finding ways to achieve them.
In the field of mental health, a mentor is a trusted and respected adviser who can help improve mental health through their life experience and knowledge.
A mental health mentor may well have experienced the many issues faced by remote workers today and come prepared with the solutions and strategies that they have used successfully before. Mentoring is an effective way of supporting positive mental health.
The Power of Mentoring
Mentoring can promote a healthy work/life balance due to the environment of psychological safety that it creates within businesses.
Businesses should proactively prioritise mentoring, to ease the stress placed on employees during lockdown. The implementation of a mentoring program can not only create a psychologically safe workplace, but can inspire innovation, increase work commitment, boost job performance, and reduce turnover.