More than half of the world’s population are currently employed and 15% of working-age adults live with a mental disorder. All workers have the right to a safe and healthy work environment. Without effective support, mental disorders and other mental health conditions can affect a person’s confidence and identity at work, capacity to work productively, absences, and the ease with which they can retain or gain work.

Risks to mental health at work

At work, risks to mental health, also called psychosocial risks, may be related to job content or work schedule, specific characteristics of the workplace, or opportunities for career development, among other things. Some of the risks to your mental health at work can include:

  • under-use of skills or being under-skilled for work,
  • excessive workloads or work pace, understaffing,
  • long, unsocial or inflexible hours,
  • lack of control over job design or workload,
  • violence, harassment or bullying,
  • discrimination and exclusion,
  • unclear job role,
  • under- or over-promotion,
  • job insecurity, inadequate pay, or poor investment in career development,
  • conflicting home/work demands.

Tips for improving your mental health at work

Promote work/life balance.

  • We all want to go as hard as we can, but ignoring that you have a life outside work hurts the company in the long run. Without a healthy work-life balance, productivity is likely to decline, and you are more likely to burn out.

Reduce the stigma

  • Talking about stress management, self-care, and mental health in meetings and in email communications can reduce the stigma associated with mental illness.
  • Ensuring that you and those around you feel safe to express themselves when they’re struggling with their mental health, without the fear of being called crazy or being fired. If the stigma is reduced you and those around you will be more willing to seek treatment. Fortunately, most mental health conditions are very treatable.

Keep in touch

  • Relationships are key to our mental health. We usually can’t choose who to work with, but focusing on making your team supportive is hugely important for mental health wherever you may find yourself.

Ask for help

  • None of us are superhuman. We all sometimes get tired or overwhelmed by how we feel or when things don’t go according to plan. So don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it and also make yourself a safe space for your colleagues.
  • Please also note that as an employee under any of our Corporate (Group) Health plans, you have access to our Employee Assistance Program (EAP) where you can have 100% confidential discussions with a professional therapist and other advisors. Ask your HR about the EAP or call 0700-CALL-LW-HMO (0700-2255-59-466) for further information on how to access this program.