mental health in leadership

Find out 4 ways to take care of mental health in leadership positions

When talking about mental health at work, it is common to find that the conversation focuses on the pursuit of employee well-being, emphasising the benefits this brings to companies. However, without wanting to downplay the topic’s relevance, the care and attention that must be paid to mental health in leadership positions has been overlooked.  

People in senior management face unique challenges that can put great pressure on their mental well-being. From strategic decision-making to financial results, senior leaders face high expectations for their performance and the pressure of knowing that the company’s future depends – to a large extent – on their decisions. This pressure can have a significant impact on their mental and emotional well-being. 

In this context, mental health in leadership positions sounds like a challenge rather than a right that should be inherent to every member of an organisation. Let’s see why!

mental health in leadership

The importance of mental health in leadership

In work environments, it is common to hear of employees showing symptoms of anxiety, stress, or even burnout. This is the main reason why the term “well-being at work” has gained special relevance in companies. However, recent studies have shown that when talking about managerial positions, these symptoms’ intensity increases. 

People in managerial positions tend to be exposed to higher levels of stress and anxiety. This article by HBR discussed how more than 50% of managers feel burned out. Added to this context is the social stigma that still persists with regard to mental health, which may prevent people with a mental health problem from seeking help due to the fear of being treated differently in the work environment.

These data reveal that there is still a long way to go when it comes to mental health in leadership positions. In this respect, organisational psychology has a great responsibility on its shoulders: to encourage and care for mental health at work, at all levels of the organisation. 

It is essential to recognise that the mental well-being of an organisation’s leaders not only affects their ability to perform effectively but can also directly impact the work climate and overall performance of the company. Leaders who are overwhelmed by stress, anxiety, or depression may find it difficult to make clear decisions as well as to inspire and motivate their teams.

mental health in leadership

Strategies to foster mental health in leadership positions

To ensure mental health in leadership positions, companies must implement strategies specifically designed for management contexts so that the specific problems of this sector are efficiently addressed. Some of these strategies could include:

  • Foster a supportive culture: Companies should foster a culture of trust and accountability, where mental well-being is valued, and leaders are encouraged to seek help when needed. This can include well-being programmes, access to support resources, and training in different coping skills.
  • Foster work-life balance: To ensure that mental health in leadership is addressed effectively, the company must ensure that leaders have the time and resources necessary to maintain a healthy work-life balance. This may involve setting clear limits on working hours, encouraging the use of time off, and offering flexible work schedules.
  • Offer psychological support: Companies can provide access to mental well-being solutions, therapy, workshops, or psycho-educational resources to help leaders manage stress, anxiety, and other mental health issues appropriately. It is also important that open and confidential communication channels are in place so that leaders can voice their concerns without fear of reprisal.
  • Promote self-care: Leaders, managers, or directors should be examples of self-care for their teams. This includes prioritising sleep, healthy eating, regular exercise, and the practice of relaxation techniques such as meditation and mindfulness. To help them in this process, companies can design policies that make it easier for individuals to maintain healthy habits and thus take care of mental health in leadership. 
mental health in leadership

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Supporting mental well-being in organisations

At ifeel, we know that mental health in leadership is fundamental to corporate success. By prioritising an organisation’s leaders’ mental well-being, not only does it foster transformational leadership, but companies can improve the work environment, increase productivity, and promote a culture of support and resilience, all while investing in the company’s sustainable future.

To support companies in this process, our team of expert workplace well-being psychologists has created a mental well-being solution for businesses that improves talent retention, reduces presenteeism, and combats employee stress. 

With our mental well-being solution, your company’s HR managers can receive personalised, data-driven advice on improving mental health at work. In addition, this solution offers employees a 360° mental well-being service structured at different levels according to their needs. Try our solution now to see how it could help you.

We hope you found this article about mental health in leadership interesting. If you would like more information about our mental well-being solution for companies, simply request it, and we will contact your team as soon as possible.

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