January Blues and Mental Health AwarenessHR is here to help!


Have you ever heard of Blue Monday? It is said to occur during the third week of January and the thinking behind it is that the combination of dark weather, post-Christmas debt, and the waning of New Year’s resolutions will push people to spend money to cheer themselves up (Faragher). Although Blue Monday is actually a myth, it is important to not let employees’ mental well-being fall off the radar. In fact, November to March, with the exception of Christmas is generally less happy than the summer months. More specifically, November and February are both pretty miserable (Bernard).


Employers have an obligation to ensure that their employees are safe both physically and mentally. Although someone may seem fine on the outside, we are unable to tell for sure how they are feeling behind closed doors. Having Covid in the picture does not help the situation much either. Mental Health Awareness and Providers are a crucial part of any organization and it is important to remind employees that these services are available to them. Blue Monday may be a myth, but it does provide employers with an opportunity to remind employees of this support and it is also a chance for employees to talk about any struggles they have within a comfortable space to do so (Faragher).


The following are a few tips and tricks from Faragher on how to help employees speak up during this time:

  1. Wellbeing Communications – Employers should promote well-being and communication to their employees. This could be in the form of a newsletter, email, etc.

  2. Reach out to Everyone – with everyone working remotely, cues we would normally pick up on in an office can go missed. Colleagues and managers especially have a bigger responsibility to reach out to everyone rather than wait to be approached. It is important that employees feel like they are supported and not alone.

  3. Workplace Champions – Making employees aware of Mental Health Champions or other resource groups in the workplace can help!

  4. Authentic Culture – setting the check-in tools aside, conversations around mental health need to become a more frequent part of the workspace and a more normal practice.

At Synergy, we help build great teams, manage great teams, and keep great teams safe. Mental Health Awareness is a huge part of our culture and the cultures of our client groups. Mental Health continues to be a strong topic of conversation that is quickly gaining momentum. We are here to help you with any support you may require to ensure that your organization has a safe and great workplace!


References


Bernard, Dominic. “HR Can Help Mitigate the 'January Blues'.” HR Magazine, https://www.hrmagazine.co.uk/content/news/hr-can-help-mitigate-the-january-blues.


Faragher, Jo. “January Blues? How to Help Employees Speak Up.” Personnel Today, 18 Jan. 2021, https://www.personneltoday.com/hr/january-blues-how-to-help-employees-speak-up/.

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