Mental Health Literacy In Secondary School

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Mental Health Literacy In Secondary School

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Mental Health Literacy In Secondary School

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Discuss about the Mental health literacy in secondary school.

The current assignment focuses on the importance of mental health and wellness programs in the context of a workplace. Employee well-being is crucial to the sustainability and success of the organization. In this respect, the aspect of mental health is often neglected in comparison to physical health for maintaining the overall well-being of the organizational workforce. However, reports and evidence have shown that 500,000 will not report to their place of work due to mental health issues. A direct correlation has been found to exist between stress and health deterioration of the employees working within an organization.
The assignment here discusses the various mental health and wellness programs and their respective components. The development and planning of a mental health wellness program have been discussed with reference to a number of organizations and their effectiveness measured. 
Components of a mental health and wellness program
Some of the common mental health problems such as anxiety and depression account for almost 30% of short –term and long term disability claims (Goetzel et al., 2014). Reports have claimed that an organization losses over 6 billion dollars annually in lost productivity, absenteeism and employee turnover. Over 66% of the employees have reported high amount of stress at their place of work. This often results in greater number of staffs changing or leaving their earlier jobs. The abundance of mental illnesses such as stress, depression and anxiety results in 35 million lost days of productive work.
Therefore, the incorporation of mental health and wellness program is mandatory for providing the employees with a sound environment. In this respect, the mental health and wellness programs could be divided into a number of essential components such as focussing on the risks group. Some of the initiatives undertook in this regard could be discussed with regards to actual corporate scenario. In this respect Fitbit, which is an American origin health and fitness promoting company through its range of electronic gadgets had been taken into consideration.
The company offers wearable health tracking technology which measures activities such as steps walked, heartbeat, blood pressure of the employees and keeps a tab on their overall health (“About Fitbit”, 2017). The goal is to set out a competition within the office, where every employee wants to be the fittest. This is further encouraged by organising small fun challenges and activities, where the most active and fit employees are given gifts and prizes at the end of the month. As commented by Baer (2015), a moving and fit body is far away from depression.
Some of the important mood-enhancing hormones such as dopamine and serotonin have been found to be well balanced within an active body. Additionally, organizing small counselling sessions with the help of professional therapist within the premises of the organization can be a huge step forward. As commented by Kutcher, Bagnell & Wei (2016), making such programs customary can reduce the feeling of shame within the employees who feel disengaged and are hesitant to ask for help.
In this respect, some of the organizations such as Zappos which is a Las Vegas-based online retailer shop offer gym memberships, nap rooms and fitness classes to the employees. The nap rooms and the gyms have been installed on purpose to provide the employees with rest and activity breaks within the stressful and demanding work scenario. The fun activities during the break that is basketball, golf and trampolining can reduce the amount of stress within the employees. As commented by Boksa, Joober & Kirmayer (2015), nutrition and annual health assessment programs are some of the other intangible components of wellness initiatives. 
Programs and activities offered in the organization
One of the most important activities which could be made a crucial component of the mental health and wellness program is the Employee Assistance Programs. The program is implemented to resolve the personal grievances faced the employees.  As commented by Wang et al., (2016), the implementation of regular counselling and physical wellness exams can help in the identification of the problem situation faced by the employees. The stress and anxiety may be often related to factors such as marital tension, emotional vulnerability and family burdens. Therefore, the assistance programs provide the forum for sufficient psychological support to the employees.
In this respect, the Toronto based Delta hotels and resorts had gone a step ahead in highlighting and promoting the cause of mental wellness within its employees. The company also organises mental health week to dispense with some of the social misconceptions and stigma attached to mental health issues. The statistics are of much serious concern in Canada 1 in 5 Ontario workers experience mental health problem every year (Michalak et al., 2015). To curb the effects of the same on the lives of the employees and the productivity of the organization a joint initiative had been signed between Ontario health and safety system partners known as Think mental health to provide the business owners with the required amount of resources to understand and manage the mental health of the employees (“Resources for Mental Health in the Workplace | Think Mental Health”, 2017). The goal was to set up an active referral channel where the organization has the sufficient support to refer an employee for further counselling and help in the form of counselling sessions from actual therapists.  Additionally, some of the framework supported by the initiative such as provision of a buddy system could be helpful in the handling and management of work-related stress. 
Cultural considerations for designing the programs
The implementation of some of the measures is challenging in the context of mental wellness. This is because sometimes the referral programs call for ardent visit to psychologists and clinicians which many of the employees are not comfortable with most of the times. Sometimes are there are immigrants from different countries and nationalities possessing different cultural values and beliefs. This provides much deep-rooted existence to the stigmas surrounding mental health issues. Therefore, the executives need to deal with their subordinate employees with much compassion and patience instead of forcing them to avail the mental health services (Baer, 2015). The delta hotels in this regard organises a mental health awareness campaign to educate the employees and the management of the company regarding the causative factors of the same and the manner in which such issues can be handled.
Research outcomes and measuring the effectiveness of the programs
The workplace wellness initiatives undertaken by Fitbit was so successful that the plan was further made into a health package and distributed to fortune 500 companies for keeping their members active and healthy. Here, BP Canada propagated the idea of fortune where it asked its employees to walk or run at least one million steps in a year. The goal was to promote the mental and emotional wellness of the employees. In order to measure the outcomes of the programs on employee mental and emotional well being a survey was conducted where the employees were asked questions pertaining to their views on the provision of wearable technologies, regular health assessments along with counselling sessions in making their work less challenging and more productive. Some of the employees mentioned that some of the features of the wearable health trackers can act as additional mood enhancers where a reminder is set every 2 hours in the digital watches motivating the employees with positive quotes. Additionally, the survey revealed that implementation of mental health education in the office premises removes the fear and the anxieties in the mind of the employees regarding approachability issues (Kutcher et al., 2015).
Developing and implementing a workplace mental health and wellness program
For the implementation of a workplace mental health and wellness programs, a number of steps could be undertaken such as implementation of wearable technologies for assessment of regular health conditions of an employee. In this respect, the mental health and wellness program of a Canada based small-scale organization had been discussed. The EOLIO is an online total solutions provider helping people to control and enhance their online brand (Services, 2017). The organization here is small scale has a limited number of staff and employees. Therefore, the pressure of meeting the client demands and requirements are huge putting in a lot of pressure in the form of target and deadlines to the staff.
Therefore, there is a need to provide additional support to the employees in the form of mental wellness programs. Previously, the organisation had in place the Employee assistance programs which were aimed at providing the employees with suitable solutions to the personal and emotional grievance faced by them which could affect their well being and workplace productivity in the long run. However, there are limitations in the delivery of such programs such as confidentiality issues where many employees do not want to indulge in or give out personal details. The involvement of the higher authorities and management can further help in the laying down of the principles and objectives. 
Goals and expected outcomes of the program
In this respect, the EOLIO group organises fun-based activities every Tuesday within the office premises, which reduces the stress and anxiety levels of the employees. Additionally, the company organises a mandatory afternoon nap session for providing the employee with sufficient rest hours.
Medical studies and evaluation have revealed that fewer sleep results in the accumulation of toxic proteins within the cerebral cortex which could often affect the memory and retention power in humans. As commented by Attridge, Herlihy & Maiden (2013), insufficient sleep has often been found to result in Alzheimer’s or in extreme cases could lead to depression. The EOLIO group focuses on conducting the program throughout the year rather than on a one-time basis. Apart from the employees the program also includes the management and the higher authorities. 
Cultural component of a program
The EOLIO group respects the cultural sentiments of its employees and believes in preserving them through its wellness programs and initiatives. The company organises fun-filled activities every Tuesday for uplifting the spirit of its employees. Sometimes community-specific activities are organised to exchange and propagate communal love and harmony. As commented by Bardoel et al. (2014), showing compassion and sympathy towards cultural feelings and sensitivity often reduces the feelings of isolation and neglect within an organizational setup.
Effectiveness of the program
The benefits of the program were analysed through some of the factors such as enhanced productivity at work, reduced rates of absenteeism and better team involvement. The implementation of the program resulted in the reducing the rates of employee turnover. The employees were found to be more satisfied and less miffed up in the context of dealing with heavy burden assignments.  Additionally, the provision of performance bonus and incentives also acted as a motivating factor for the employees; motivating the employees to perform better and be appreciated.
It is important to figure out the vulnerable or the stress takers within the production team of a company. They could be helped with psychological counselling and emotional support to deal with the workload or burden that is taking a toll on their mental and physical health. Additionally, organising mental health awareness campaign can be instrumental in removing the stigma related to mental health issues within a corporate culture.
About Fitbit. (2017). Fitbit.com. Retrieved 4 December 2017, from https://www.fitbit.com/in/about
Attridge, M., Herlihy, P. A., & Maiden, R. P. (Eds.). (2013). The integration of employee assistance, work/life, and wellness services. Abingdon: Routledge, pp.25-63.
Baer, R. A. (Ed.). (2015). Mindfulness-based treatment approaches: Clinician’s guide to evidence base and applications. London: Academic Press, p.25.
Bardoel, E. A., Pettit, T. M., De Cieri, H., & McMillan, L. (2014). Employee resilience: an emerging challenge for HRM. Asia Pacific Journal of Human Resources, 52(3), 279-297.
Boksa, P., Joober, R., & Kirmayer, L. J. (2015). Mental wellness in Canada’s Aboriginal communities: striving toward reconciliation. Journal of psychiatry & neuroscience: JPN, 40(6), 363.
Goetzel, R. Z., Henke, R. M., Tabrizi, M., Pelletier, K. R., Loeppke, R., Ballard, D. W., … & Serxner, S. (2014). Do workplace health promotion (wellness) programs work?. Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, 56(9), 927-934.
Kutcher, S., Bagnell, A., & Wei, Y. (2015). Mental health literacy in secondary schools: a Canadian approach. Child and adolescent psychiatric clinics of North America, 24(2), 233-244.
Michalak, E. E., Lane, K., Hole, R., Barnes, S. J., Khatri, N., Lapsley, S., … & Berk, M. (2015). Towards a better future for Canadians with bipolar disorder: principles and implementation of a community-based participatory research model. Engaged Scholar Journal: Community-Engaged Research, Teaching, and Learning, 1(1), pp.25-58.
Resources for Mental Health in the Workplace | Think Mental Health. (2017). ThinkMentalHealth.ca. Retrieved 4 December 2017, from https://thinkmentalhealth.ca/
Services, W. (2017). Workplace Mental Health. Wsps.ca. Retrieved 4 December 2017, from https://www.wsps.ca/Information-Resources/Topics/Mental-Health.aspx
Wang, J., Patten, S. B., Lam, R. W., Attridge, M., Ho, K., Schmitz, N., … & Lashewicz, B. M. (2016). The effects of an e-mental health program and job coaching on the risk of major depression and productivity in Canadian male workers: protocol for a randomized controlled trial. JMIR research protocols, 5(4), pp.125-325.

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