Over the last few years, there has been a huge toll both personally and collectively to our mental health and to our lives in general.
Companies have accelerated the emphasis on advice and support for the mental health of their staff; but is it not time to broaden the awareness in all areas of health and wellbeing and highlight the critical links between physical health and mental health?
And then of course there is the significant feeder of long-term stress and anxiety that can pour ‘petrol on the fire’ to both physical and mental health.
The triad of physical health, mental health and stress
It is time to highlight the integrally linked triad of physical health, mental health and stress and raise the awareness of all three of these key areas of health and wellbeing. Raising awareness in how these form an interconnection of cause and effect is a great start:
- Physical Illness: Navigating daily life with a physical illness and the pain and disability that this often causes is stressful and can initiate or exacerbate existing poor mental health. There is the sheer anxiety and worry surrounding a physical illness itself. Whether it be yourself suffering from an illness or if you are supporting someone close to you, there is the stress of waiting for an appointment, going through tests, and waiting for results, planning treatment and rehabilitation.
- Even post-pandemic, there seems to be a reluctance and lack of urgency to bother the GP with any worrying signs or symptoms to get them checked out. Early intervention is the number one recommendation by medical specialists for a good outcome to treatment; the message is clear: if you are worried about a health matter, don’t leave it.
- Chronic stress: Now let’s look at chronic stress itself and see how it feeds into this triad: It is widely known that prolonged stress can cause or exacerbate poor mental health and physical illness. Chronic or long-term stress is often a pre-cursor to anxiety and/or depression [Link to Amy Imms blog]. Stress is also linked to a higher risk of many physical health conditions, including musculoskeletal problems, high blood pressure, heart disease, and cancer, to name but a few.
- Poor mental health: Here we can see the triad working in the opposite way: if you suffer with poor mental health such as anxiety or depression, it can affect your physical health with muscle tension, suppression of your immune system and prevent you from looking after yourself physically and directly feeds into your stress levels.
Understanding how the critical triad of how poor physical health, stress and poor mental health all feed into each other, leads to an appreciation of how important it is to ‘even up’ the education across all pillars of wellbeing.
Employees are a company’s greatest asset
Industry welcomes more information from specialists in their field across all the pillars of wellbeing. It just makes common sense: employees are a company’s greatest asset and supporting employee’s health is a direct investment in supporting productivity. Sickness absence means zero productivity and presenteeism (working whilst an employee is sick) means productivity is reduced.
During its 30 years’ of offering health and wellbeing support to working populations across industry, Thrive4Life’s guiding principle has always been to provide the ‘why’ behind the ‘how’ of offering practical advice on all aspects of health and wellbeing, with this advice delivered by specialists in their field.
Thrive4Life’s health and wellbeing discovery hub
Thrive4Life are currently launching an innovative Health and Wellbeing platform, designed to raise awareness and provide support around the integral links between physical and mental health and sustained stress and the part played by all three of these key areas in shaping our health and wellbeing.
The aim of the Health and Wellbeing discovery hub is to bring the very best health and wellbeing education to working populations. It is designed to encourage and empower individuals to be proactive with their own health and wellbeing.
The development of the Health and Wellbeing Discovery Hub has drawn together an exceptional advisory board of UK-based medical consultants, surgeons and wellbeing advisors to form a trusted source of information, talks and written content across every aspect of healthcare, including cancer prevention, diabetes, heart health, musculoskeletal injury, mental health and stress management, and many more key health topics.
‘Take the headache out of’ health and wellbeing
The whole concept of the Health and Wellbeing Discovery Hub is to help ‘take the headache out of’ the time and effort it takes to build and implement your strategy of health and wellbeing, with a focus on improving ongoing staff engagement across your organisation at all levels.
Every approach is different
Every organisation is different in its approach to building an effective health and wellbeing strategy, there is no correct sequence, although leadership commitment and management buy-in is essential.
It’s important to aim for eventually creating an interconnecting system which supports your workforce at multiple levels, and on an on-going basis.
The Discovery Hub is designed to give you a foundation ‘starter pack’ or, if you are already on your health and wellbeing journey, a way of consolidating where you are. It will fully support your organisation on your onward journey over time, as you build your strategy.
Taking positive small steps forward, in the form of incremental change is particularly effective in the approach to implementing a health and wellbeing strategy. The Discovery Hub will help you accelerate your progress and consolidate your efforts.
Customisation is key
It’s important to staff engagement that employees get a sense that it is their workplace that care for and support their health and wellbeing. The discovery hub facilitates engagement by ensuring that the materials are fully customised with your company’s logo, colours, and design scheme, with all the work being done by Thive4Life!
Engaging Health & Wellbeing across different employee groups
Thrive4Life Discovery Hub can accommodate multiple office locations with different cultures/commitment to health promotion (events, etc). The Hub can adapt flexibly to organisational demands to support different offices/groups of employees, whilst at the same time providing common access to other information that is relevant to all.
Employee support with health and wellbeing hub
The hub provides health and wellbeing support across your workforce:
- For all your employees: by having a comprehensive health and wellbeing library resource of written and video content, including articles on various health and wellbeing topics and webinar recordings from top-level medical consultants and wellbeing specialists, with new publications being added every month, which can incorporate every aspect of your company’s offering (past, current, and future), with health and wellbeing events clearly listed on a monthly pinboard announcement page.
- For your line managers: A dedicated area to support line managers in all aspects of mental and physical health and wellbeing and guidance on managing and supporting staff.
- For your Mental Health First Aider team and Wellbeing Champions (if you have them): A dedicated area to support MHFAs and Wellbeing Champions on an ongoing basis.
Wellbeing Champion Training
Also included in a hub subscription is optional Wellbeing Champion training, delivered online, for up to 16 delegates, which will encourage employee engagement and an optional area for your health benefits to be clearly displayed and accessed.
How health and wellbeing hub works
When you sign up, your organisation will gain access to its very own personalised hub complete with your company branding, so it looks like it is coming directly from you!
We update our content regularly in accordance with key awareness dates, so your hub will remain relevant and up-to date. Additionally, any health and wellbeing ePublications or live webinars you purchase with us will be uploaded to the hub for your convenience.
How Thrive4Life can help you!
Health and Wellbeing Discovery Hub – Support with developing your health and wellbeing strategy
Our Health and Wellbeing Discovery Hub delivers all your organisation’s health and wellbeing needs in one place to help you effortlessly manage this crucial aspect of your business. This innovative platform supports developing a practical effective strategy for health and wellbeing. The hub very quickly develops into a cohesive resource for employees and key groups of staff that support your health and wellbeing strategy in different ways: Mental Health First Aiders, Wellbeing Champions, and Line Managers.
For more information about Thrive4Life services and training courses, get in touch or call us on 020 8972 9675.