If I had a google earth pin to drop somewhere in the cluttered landscape of organisational mental health, I’d drop it in the CEO’s office. Why?
Because it is where culture starts.
Because a leaders’ engagement in their own mental health conversations and services is the biggest predictor of organisational attitudes to mental health.
Because if the C-Suite is not walking the talk and processing the challenge of life balance, uncertainty, over thinking and fatigue then it’s lip service, and if it’s lip service then we are all rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic.
Currently 84% of leaders say they are concerned for employee mental health and are making significant changes to promote acceptance and change mental health. Only 32% of employees agree.
Post COVID mental health figures indicate a 50-60% decline in mental health across sectors. 37% of leaders report difficulties with concentration, 28% take longer to complete tasks, 25% report delaying or procrastinating challenging work 20% report increased conflicts with stakeholders.
Deloitte's 2023 Wellbeing at Work Survey concluded that 75% of surveyed C-Suite are “seriously considering quitting for a job that would better support their wellbeing.”
Yet less than 1% have utilised professional support.
There is so, so much more to gain from leaders improving psychological health than not getting burnt out, and it’s the biggest performance advantage you can muster.
The emotional and cognitive demands of leadership are greater than at any time in our history as manual and menial tasks become automated. Success depends on clear thinking, emotional agility, enough energy for negotiation, creativity, and the calm that allows humans to be present, resolve conflicts and strengthen relationships with their teams. It needs boot camp psychological health. Not just the absence of depression. Where are we learning that?
We are shortly coming up for World Suicide Prevention Day, R U Ok Day and Mental Health Week in Australia all falling within 4 weeks of each other from 14 September to 14-October .
If you are a senior leader wanting to show leadership around mental health, Performance Story is inviting you to rise to a new level of leadership by providing your leaders with a full confidential assessment of:
Current functioning scores
Online debrief of results
Curated resources and advanced psychological performance strategies
2 hour leadership team session on contemporary wellbeing for Executive Teams and their own teams, so you can all raise the bar together.
A few years ago, CBH, as one of Australia’s largest cooperatives, transformed acceptance of mental health in the farming community like no one could have imagined. It stopped throwing counselling lines around and sat the Board down to tell their own stories on camera. The authenticity and buy in was transformative.
If you want your people to know you take mental health seriously, it starts with you.
1. Tell your leaders they matter by signing up for a Checkin in the same way as they all have a Physical health Check.
2. Give them their own experience and Team Session
3. Normalise it by telling your teams you have been reflecting on your own psychological health.
It's time to ditch the cupcakes and EAP posters and have more courage.
And it starts with you.