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Healthy minds are just as important as healthy bodies
April marks Stress Awareness Month and there’s no denying that we’re getting better as a nation at discussing our mental health and wellbeing. However, we’ve still got a long way to go. In fact, according to the Mental Health Foundation, 74% of UK adults have felt so stressed at some point over the last year, they felt overwhelmed or unable to cope. This comes following nearly a year of working from home for many of us – so what will happen when we return to offices and places of work?
The fantastic news is that a new standard, the first of its kind, is currently being finalised to giving practical guidance on managing psychological health in the workplace.
What is ISO45003?
The ISO45003 builds upon ISO45001, which is the international standard for health and safety at work introduced in 2018. The ISO45001 was designed to prevent work-related injuries and provide healthier working environments at a more physical level.
However, the new ISO 45003, due to be published later this year, will provide help in identifying the conditions, circumstances and workplace demands that could potentially have a detrimental impact on employees’ psychological health and wellbeing. In fact, the new set of standards defines a psychologically healthy and safe workplace, as one that ‘promotes workers’ psychological wellbeing and actively works to prevent harm to psychological health.’
How can it help my business and my employees?
While of course the main concern and focus is employee health, particularly at a time when how we work is being increasingly viewed through a mental health lens, there are actually numerous benefits for the employer, should they choose to implement ISO45003. Measures they introduce should also benefit any employees working from home and not just those in the workplace.
It is universally acknowledged that happy and healthy staff not only perform better, but they will also help improve the performance of a business overall. Therefore, undertaking an ISO45003 audit when the standards are finalised in the coming months, could be of great importance and benefit to organisations up and down the country if mental health and wellbeing is high on their agendas.
However, to achieve accreditation, line managers do not need to have a degree in psychology. The ISO45003 is more about the preventative measures a company takes to help create a positive environment in which mental health and wellbeing is taken into account. This will ensure psychological issues or pressures such as stress and anxiety, do not arise in the first place.
The standards should also help reduce the stigma that still envelops the world of mental health; it’s time to break down those barriers and organisations who look to implement ISO45003 will do just that.
In fact, firms already undergoing implementation of ISO45001 only need to apply some elements of the new ISO45003 to achieve it. Good mental health, happy and content employees and teams who feel valued are all parts of the wider sustainability picture and one that all employers should aspire to.
What courses are available to help us now?
YouTree provides interactive e-learning packages, with targeted content for businesses wishing to improve sustainability and mental health and wellbeing in the workplace. YouTree particularly suits organisations who wish to build resilience and engage their staff in greater awareness of sustainability issues. It provides busy HSEQ/Sustainability/HR Managers with a cost-effective tool to support workforce resilience whilst empowering staff to create positive change through making choices and taking sustainability actions.
For more information about how YouTree can help your business, please learn more about the power of sustainability from our founder, Philippa Stanley.
If you would like to learn more about the professional and personal coaching package on offer, get in touch today and book your no obligation, 15-minute coffee and connect session!