Fostering Mental Health Awareness at Work: A Conversation with Foram Sheth of Ama La Vida

by Jed Morley
Foram Sheth

In the fast-paced world of business, the concept of success has transcended traditional boundaries. Today, it encompasses not only financial achievements but also the well-being of the individuals powering organizations forward. Welcome to a transformative interview series that delves into the very heart of modern workplaces 

Through candid conversations with visionary entrepreneurs, we embark on a journey to uncover the strategies, experiences, and philosophies that are shaping the way organizations address mental health in the workplace. In an era where holistic well-being is the new measure of prosperity, our interviewee provide unique perspectives on the strategies that underpin her success.

Name: Foram Sheth
Company: Ama La Vida

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Table of Contents

What are some key strategies for organizations to identify and address early signs of mental health issues among employees? Share your insights and experiences on implementing proactive measures.

Foram Sheth: I believe that mental health should be a top priority for every organization and that it’s important to identify and address any early signs of mental health issues among employees. Here are some key strategies that organizations can use to achieve this goal:

1. Put great emphasis on psychological safety: Leaders and managers have the responsibility to create an atmosphere where employees feel safe to express themselves, be vulnerable, and openly share their thoughts and challenges. When leaders create a safe space for communication, employees are more likely to speak up about their workload, stress, or other issues that may contribute to burnout.

2. Avoiding burnout at all costs: When employees do not feel safe or supported, they may hesitate to voice their concerns or set boundaries, leading to increased workload, overwhelm, and ultimately burnout. Recognizing the early signs of burnout — irritability, fatigue, decreased productivity, and withdrawal from others — and addressing them promptly is crucial to prevent further damage to an employee’s mental well-being.

3. Stopping it before it starts: Once burnout occurs, it becomes a challenging and lengthy process to recover and restore a healthier state. By emphasizing the importance of psychological safety and creating an environment where employees feel supported and empowered to speak up, organizations can proactively address mental health concerns and prevent the detrimental effects of burnout.

At Ama La Vida, we have implemented several proactive measures to address mental health issues in the workplace. We offer mental health days where employees can take time off to focus on their mental health. We also provide training to our managers on how to recognize signs of mental health issues and how to support employees who may be struggling.

By incorporating these strategies and acknowledging the importance of psychological safety, organizations can create an environment where employees feel comfortable speaking up about their mental health. Early identification and intervention can prevent prolonged suffering and support employees in their journey toward better mental well-being.

How can companies create a supportive environment for employees to openly discuss mental health and seek help when needed? Share examples of successful communication and resources that have made a difference in your organization.

Foram Sheth: Integrating mental health practices into daily interactions helps to create a healthy culture within the organization. Here are examples of how these practices can be implemented:

Helping employees identify and name their boundaries: Supporting employees in recognizing their personal limits and triggers is essential. By encouraging self-awareness, individuals can better understand their boundaries and communicate them effectively to their colleagues and managers.

Communicating and addressing boundary breaches: It’s crucial to foster open dialogue about boundaries and discuss scenarios in which these boundaries might be crossed. By proactively planning and discussing how to handle breaches, teams can establish a supportive and respectful environment that addresses issues promptly and constructively.

Identifying warning signs: Organizations should establish markers or indicators that can help employees identify when the path they are on is no longer sustainable. These milestones serve as reminders to reassess workload, stress levels, and overall well-being. By recognizing warning signs early on, employees can take necessary steps to pivot and make adjustments before burnout occurs.

Incorporating mental health discussions in 1:1 meetings: Regular one-on-one meetings between managers and employees provide a valuable opportunity to discuss mental health. Managers can proactively address the well-being of their team members by including questions about mental health as part of the conversation. Using a scale or rating system allows for a quick assessment and a basis for further discussion and support.

Prioritizing mental health is an ongoing commitment, and integrating daily practices into the fabric of the organization shows a commitment to supporting employees in maintaining their mental well-being and helps prevent burnout by addressing concerns and providing necessary resources and support. These practices contribute to a healthier and more supportive work environment where individuals can thrive both personally and professionally.

What role can training and education play in fostering mental health awareness in the workplace? Share your experience with impactful workshops, seminars, or training programs that have contributed to a better understanding and support of mental health among employees.

Foram Sheth: Training and education can play a significant role in fostering mental health awareness in the workplace. Providing employees with the knowledge and skills to identify and address mental health concerns can help reduce stigma and promote early intervention. At Ama La Vida, we offer mental health training for all employees, including workshops on stress management, resilience, and self-care. These training programs have been impactful in improving mental health awareness and creating a culture of support and compassion.

We have also found that mental health awareness campaigns and seminars can be effective in promoting mental health and reducing stigma. For example, we recently hosted a seminar on the impact of remote work on mental health, which provided employees with strategies for managing stress and maintaining work-life balance while working from home. Additionally, we have offered webinars on topics such as anxiety, depression, and burnout, which have been well-received by employees.

Finally, we have found that providing managers with mental health training can be particularly impactful. Managers play a crucial role in creating a supportive environment for employees, and training can equip them with the skills and knowledge to effectively support their team’s mental health.

At Ama La Vida, we provide mental health training for all managers, which includes education on identifying and addressing mental health concerns, promoting work-life balance, and supporting employees who may be struggling with mental health issues. This has contributed to a better understanding and support of mental health among our employees.

Jed Morley, VIP Contributor to WellnessVoice and the host of this interview would like to thank Foram Sheth for taking the time to do this interview and share her knowledge and experience with our readers.

If you would like to get in touch with Foram Sheth or her company, you can do it through her – Linkedin Page

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