In 2022 we are becoming more comfortable with two critical things: inclusivity and mental health.
We all know how important maintaining our mental health is. We also know how important it is for our workplaces to be inclusive, equal and diverse. On top of that, we are beginning to recognise the direct link between the two topics.
From statistics and studies, we can see now that working in an inclusive workplace positively impacts our mental well-being. Working somewhere exclusive and discriminatory has the opposite effect and negatively affects our mental health.
But, what about the opposite way around? Does working on our mental health at work improve overall inclusivity in the workplace?
With that question in mind, let’s explore the question of whether work-based counselling can help inclusivity in the workplace or not.
What is Work-Based Counselling?
Many people feel that they need to talk to a counsellor about issues they are having at work. It may be due to difficult dynamics, discrimination or harassment, difficulty coping with workload or any range of personal issues that are affecting work experience and performance.
Some companies will be able to offer work-based counselling within their physical workspace. This means that some employees will be able to have counselling slots throughout their workday in their place of work.
Other businesses may offer paid external counselling for their employees. This can go through employee insurance or through a limited-session agreement with a counsellor/counselling agency that is paid directly by the company.
Thirdly, some people may choose to simply seek out counselling for work issues themselves, whether that be through a charity, NHS source, or private counsellor.
Whatever way it manifests, work-based counselling is engagement with a registered counsellor or psychotherapist to help someone manage their mental health in relation to work.
How Can Counselling and Inclusivity be Linked?
There are a couple of different ways in which counselling and workplace inclusivity can work hand in hand, including:
- Psychoeducation: In counselling, clients can learn a lot about mental health and the dynamics between people. They can also learn many valuable skills to take with them after counselling. Such learning in counselling can greatly impact how someone behaves and interacts in the workplace, particularly so in terms of communication. The right kind of communication can have a strong impact on workplace inclusivity and diversity.
- Appropriately dealing with conflict: One of the best ways to handle workplace conflict is to have the parties involved attend their own counselling and then mediate the conflict together in a healthier and more balanced way. Counselling can help people understand how they feel about things and why they might feel that way. It can also help those people come to a resolution in a way that works for them. More resolved conflict helps inclusion on many levels.
- Increased well-being and positivity: When people work through their own issues in counselling, they are generally happier and more positive at work. When people are happier, they treat those around them better. They are also more willing to be socially involved at work. All of these aspects contribute to higher levels of inclusion in the workplace. Happier people make people happier.
- Decreased stress: One of the main reasons people attend work-based counselling is due to work-based stress. When employees have more manageable levels of stress and they are able to deal with their stress head-on, this has positive effects on them and those around them. Decreased stress levels in the workplace help everyone feel more included and less under pressure.
To Wrap Up
Overall, we have to see inclusivity at work and mental health as two conjoined issues. They are inseparable when we think of their direct effect on one another.
To have a truly inclusive workplace, we need to consider the mental health of employees. Work-based counselling is a very useful resource in this journey and can help many people on many different levels.
If you want to work somewhere with inclusivity and mental health support at work, you can check out our inclusive job board on Aspiring to Include where you can find a wide range of accessible jobs from diverse employers across the U.K.