Self Space: The Effect of Therapy on Mental Health at Work

How could therapy increase the happiness and productivity of your workplace? What mental health employee perks could you introduce to support your team at work?

We’re back with Episode 5 of our new podcast series, Work Happy!

This week, our host Angelica sat down with Self Space Founder, Jodie Cariss, to explore the benefits of therapy for you and your employees.

LISTEN TO THE WHOLE CONVERSATION

Jodie launched Self Space a year ago in response to a growing need for an improved type of mental health support. Self Space inspires “a contemporary approach to maintaining good mental health”.

Self Space aligns itself as a prevention service, making it ideal for workplaces who are keen to maintain good mental health amongst their employees and avoid burnout, “Our position is to support people […] before they reach crisis point. To educate people before they can’t get out of bed”.

What can employers do to improve their team’s mental health?

In the workplace, Jodie and her team find that employers aren’t always equipping their team with the tools to handle the difficult aspects of their work environments, “we often say the opposite thing to what we’re feeling […] We’ve become accustomed to having to be okay […] I think some truthfulness in our dialogue is necessary”.

At work, this means being open to listening to each other and receiving both good and bad feedback: “Companies often mirror the dysfunction in families and we need to take a confident stance to stop that happening”.

Jodie believes creating a sense of community amongst employees is vital for a team which relies on each other, “there needs to be genuine space and time to be interested in each other”. This may mean taking a more creative approach to team activities, “Avoid creating a drinking culture […] this can slide out of control and become the only way they can relate to each other”.

A business can also support their staff by taking responsibility for their wellbeing. Encouraging reviews which aren’t only to discuss the meeting of targets or business challenges is a way to show accountability, “Talk about mental health in a positive conversation as opposed to it being associated with dysfunction. It needs to be imbedded in the culture”.

Are approaches to mental health in the workplace changing?

Jodie has found that a lot of companies are showing a real willingness to change, “We sell bundles of therapy sessions to companies which are completely confidential. That shows generosity”.

It can, however, be as easy as being more thoughtful day to day. A company’s genuine concern can be evident in the little things, “like when people bring food to meetings or take time to check in on personal highlights” as opposed to just honing in on the business agenda straight away.

Stress in the workplace can have a huge effect on a person’s mental health. Jodie believes stress is a symptom of bad processing and management of what we’re doing, “Stress is a choice in my view […] There are often conversations that need to be had that will prevent it and therapy will help you with the more challenging things”.

Jodie’s vision is for a Self Space on every high street, “I want people to access therapy in the same way they go and have a hair cut, it’s not a big deal”.

Click here to listen more about how you can open up the conversation of mental health in your workplace and how this can better your company culture by improving your team’s happiness at work.

ps. If you liked this, why not come to one of our Work Happy events? Next month we’re talking how to build a positive company culture. Reserve your free ticket here. It just so happened that Jodie was the speaker at our last event, read our event write-up for the key takeaways!