Why Dublin Workplaces Should Promote Mental Health Counselling for Better Employee Wellbeing

Nov 30, 2023Counselling

In today’s fast-paced and demanding world, the physical and mental well-being of employees has never been more crucial. While traditional workplace wellness programs often focus on physical health initiatives, addressing mental health concerns is equally essential for fostering a thriving and productive work environment.

Stress, anxiety, depression—these are not mere buzzwords. They are real issues that Dublin workers grapple with regularly. This is why Dublin companies should consider offering mental health counselling services internally.

The Prevalence of Mental Health Issues in Dublin Workplaces

As workplaces become increasing hubs of performance, drive and constant engagement, mental health issues are undeniably becoming more prominent.

According to a 2021 study, 35% of employees reported experiencing mental health challenges in the past year. A closer look at the statistics reveals that:

  1. Anxiety is the most common mental health issue among Dublin employees, affecting 22% of the workforce.
  2. Depression follows closely behind, affecting 17% of employees.
  3. Other significant mental health concerns include stress (15%), burnout (12%), and sleep disorders (10%).

Meanwhile, in a more recent survey, up to 60% of workers at medium to large companies in Ireland reported feeling down or depressed. Stress and fatigue were also challenging for over half of the respondents, with 56% saying they have experienced these feelings due to their work.

Clearly, mental health issues are prevalent in Dublin workplaces, and these have a significant impact on employee well-being and organisational performance.

Factors Contributing to Mental Health Challenges in the Workplace

Several factors contribute to mental health challenges in Dublin workplaces. Demanding work schedules, workplace conditions, heavy workloads, tight deadlines, high expectations, and work-life imbalance are everyday stressors that can lead to anxiety, depression, and burnout.

Additionally, the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated these challenges, with increased isolation, remote work arrangements, and economic uncertainty taking a toll on employee mental health.

How Employee Mental Health Issues Affect Companies

According to a report, one in five Irish firms have experienced mental health-related issues in the past year. Employee anxiety, depression, and stress have led to a rise in absenteeism (the practice of missing work due to illness) in workplaces, especially post-pandemic. This rise has adversely affected business performance.

Mental health issues have also resulted in presenteeism (working while unwell). While not resulting in absenteeism, presenteeism can also be detrimental to productivity. Employees who work while unwell are less efficient and more likely to make mistakes, leading to decreased output and increased costs.

In severe cases, mental health issues can even lead to employee turnover and long-term disability. In addition, they can be costly for organisations. According to the World Health Organization, presenteeism due to mental health conditions costs employers an estimated €17.2 billion per year.

The prevalence of mental health issues among Dublin employees highlights the urgent need for organisations to prioritise mental health support. The alarming statistic underscores the importance of proactive measures to address these concerns and foster a supportive workplace culture that promotes employee wellbeing.

Unfortunately, 80% of workplaces in Ireland are not providing mental health support to their employees. Moreover, only 1 in 5 companies allocate a budget for internal mental health projects.

Benefits of Mental Health Counselling for Dublin Workplaces

If you own or manage a company, you must recognise that providing mental health support is a need, not just a nice-to-have nowadays. Offering mental health counselling has a range of benefits not just for your employees but also for your organisation.

Counselling in the workplace offers staff a lifeline for coping with hardships, functioning not only as a reactive measure for handling crises but also as a preventive strategy. It can equip employees with tools to manage stress, boost job satisfaction, enhance productivity, and improve resilience. This can lead to better mental well-being, reduced symptoms of anxiety and depression, and enhanced overall quality of life.

From an organisational perspective, investing in mental health counselling programs increases productivity. In fact, a study by the World Health Organization found that workplace interventions for mental health can lead to a 25% increase in employee productivity. This is because mentally healthy employees are better able to focus and make sound decisions.

Mental health counselling can also reduce absenteeism. It can help employees manage their mental health and reduce the number of days they take off work due to illness.

In addition to improving productivity and reducing absenteeism, accessible mental health counselling in the workplace can also improve employee engagement. As you know, employee engagement is a measure of an employee’s commitment to their work and their willingness to go the extra mile. When employees feel supported and valued by their employer, they are more likely to be engaged in their work.

Lastly, a supportive workplace culture that prioritises mental health can attract and retain top talent, enhancing the organisation’s reputation and competitive edge.

Why Dublin Workplaces Should Promote Mental Health Counselling for Better Employee Wellbeing 2

Implementing Mental Health Counselling in Dublin Workplaces

So, how can workplaces like yours go about integrating mental health counselling? First and foremost, the process necessitates partnering with licensed counselling professionals in Dublin. In addition, guaranteeing confidentiality, accessibility, and affordability can encourage employees to avail of the counselling services without fear or uncertainty.

When partnering with professional counselling services, choosing mental health counsellors with good reputations is important. They should be experienced in workplace counselling, including handling employees suffering from anxiety, stress and depression. They should also be able to offer confidential services in various formats, such as in-person, online, or by phone.

Managers also play a critical role in addressing mental health concerns within their teams. Ongoing training and support can equip them with the skills to identify signs of mental distress. They can be trained to provide emotional support to employees who are struggling and make referrals to counselling services when appropriate. Ultimately, the right kind of training can help managers comprehend and address mental health issues in their teams, leading to a proactive approach rather than a reactive one.

The Challenges of Incorporating Mental Health Counselling in Dublin Workplaces

Of course, integrating mental health counselling into your workplace isn’t without its challenges. For one, awareness of mental health has certainly grown, but a stigma still exists. This is a significant barrier to addressing mental health concerns in the workplace is the stigma associated with them. It prevents employees from seeking help due to fear of judgment, discrimination, or negative consequences. In fact, according to a survey, 38% of Irish employees wouldn’t disclose a mental health issue to their employer.

Organisations must play a crucial role in dismantling this stigma by fostering an open and supportive workplace culture. This involves encouraging open communication and normalising discussions about mental health challenges, as well as providing resources and support for employees seeking help. Organisations can also implement policies that protect employee confidentiality and prevent discrimination based on mental health status.

Aside from the stigma, resources may pose another hurdle. Small or medium-sized businesses may baulk at the idea of investing in mental health services. But remember, an initial investment can yield substantial ROI in the long run.

In conclusion, workplace mental well-being is no longer a taboo topic or an afterthought. It’s the crux of building healthier, happier, and highly productive workplaces in Dublin. By acknowledging and addressing the mental health issues your employees face, your organisation can take a decisive step towards better health for your employees and improved overall success.

Remember, a happy, healthy employee equals a thriving workplace. Hence, mental health counselling in organisations isn’t just a noble cause, it’s a smart business move that paves the way to a prosperous future.

Are you concerned about the mental health of your employees? Prioritise their well-being by providing access to mental health counselling. Schedule a consultation with our counsellors today to discuss how you can support your employees. Call us on 015240708 or email at info@accesscounselling.ie.


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