Mental health plays a crucial role in the workplace

Thanks to the Covid-19 pandemic, mental health has been front and centre of the workplace refocus of late and rightly so. More than 30% of adult South Africans suffer from some sort of mental health issue, affecting their ability to think clearly and process their thoughts logically. This in turn can negatively affect their outward behaviours and decision-making, which is especially important in the workplace.

Mariet Visser, coach, trainer, and co-founder of We Do Change is on a mission to empower individuals and businesses to take control of their mental health and create small but effective changes in the workplace.

She shares some of the best Agile principles, a popular form of coaching, as well as other entry-level training options that can be used by both employers and employees to support anyone suffering from mental health issues.

Learn how to STOP

Looking after your mental health starts with learning and applying skills such as mindfulness as this helps create presence within oneself and increases your ability to become more self-aware. One tool Mariet learnt years ago was the STOP skill, developed by Jon Kabat-Zinn and essentially an acronym that stands for Stop, Take a breath, Observe and then Proceed.

Even if it’s just by getting up from your desk to make a cup of coffee, by pausing momentarily, you allow yourself to take a breath which acts as an anchor to the present moment. During this short respite, you can see what is happening both inside and outside of you, and assess what you are doing and how you are feeling. Use the information gained during this check-in to either continue your course or change it.

Know the difference between reacting and responding

A healthy mind can make all the difference when it comes to your reactions. Knowing the difference between choosing to react instinctively or impulsively or respond with guided thinking and reasoning is very important.