Twelve billion working days are being lost to mental illness every year across the world, while the cost of work-related stress across Europe, the United States, Canada and Australia stood at $957 billion back in 2016 – long before COVID – according to a study by the Global Wellness Institute.
With all of that in mind, businesses are taking mental health and wellbeing in the workplace more seriously than ever before.
During a recent EY Entrepreneur Of The Year webinar on the balance between high performance and mental wellbeing, I Am Here’s Founder Jim Breen discussed the role of business leaders in shaping their company’s ethos around wellness in the workplace.
“We are pack animals,” he said. “And the pack will take its lead from its leaders. And it will particularly take lead in terms of its overall approach to mental health and wellbeing from its leaders.
“Many of us have experienced a series of mini-traumas. We know that for a fact. However, after COVID or indeed any trauma, there are three options:
“The first is option is going back to the same old way of doing things. That way is gone for most of us.
“The second option is that we end up with post-traumatic stress and that is the way that a lot of businesses are heading.
“However, there is a third option. It’s post-traumatic growth. We take this period that has put unprecedented stresses and pressures upon us, and use it as an opportunity for growth.
“That growth comes in believing that it’s ok not to feel ok, in behaving like it’s absolutely ok to ask for help. We can build our skills such as compassion, listening, empathy, acceptance and being real with one another.”
Watch Jim in conversation with Roger Wallace from EY Entrepreneur Of The Year below…