Reposted from lightupthesky.ca
Reposted from Dal Student Life at https://studentlife.dal.ca/article/2021/04/how-to-be-an-active-bystander.html
Bystander intervention is when you step up to try and de-escalate a potentially harmful situation, such as sexualized violence. It’s the right thing to do, and here’s how.
Anyone can be an active bystander, but it’s always important to consider your personal safety in the situation before deciding to intervene. Once you’ve decided that it’s safe to step up, there are several forms that bystander intervention can take.
The following intervention approaches are for intervening in instances of sexualized violence in particular, but they can also be applied to many other potentially harmful situations:
Determine if something is wrong
- Distraction: You can distract the person who is engaging in problematic behaviour by asking them a question or for advice.
- Physical presence: Just being present and letting the person who is engaging in harmful behaviour know that you’re watching them can have an impact and potentially stop something harmful from happening.
- Calling out: If you feel comfortable, you can call out the person who is engaging in harmful behaviour by saying things like: Stop that! Leave them alone. Hey, that’s not cool! That joke isn’t funny.
- Asking the person who is causing harm to leave: If the person who is causing harm doesn’t stop when asked to, you can say things like: I think you should leave. That type of behaviour isn’t welcome here.
- Providing support to the target of the problematic behaviour: If you’re uncomfortable addressing the individual who is causing the harm you can focus on the person who is the target of the unwanted attention. You can ask them if they are OK. If there is anything you can do to help them. If you’re at a party, you can ask if they’d like you to find their friends for them. Or you can offer to walk them home or offer to help them get away from the harmful situation.
After something has already happened
All this information comes from the Waves of Change Basic Bystander Module. To learn more about how to be an active bystander or to receive Waves of Change bystander training, contact Human Rights and Equity Services at HRES@dal.ca.
Originally posted by LifeWorks on October 1, 2021 at https://wellbeing.lifeworks.com/ca/newsletter-content/investing-in-your-teams-mental-health.
Mental health conditions are on the rise worldwide according to the World Health Organization (WHO). So, it is very likely you already have, or will have, employees who are either experiencing common mental illnesses such as depression, anxiety, or panic disorders themselves or are concerned about a loved one who is.
Stress, anxiety, and depression can lead to an increase in absenteeism and disability leaves resulting in a decline in customer service and productivity. Thus, it is vital that managers, and the organizations they work for, invest in their employees’ mental health. This does not have to cost great sums of money or consume a great deal of your time. Fostering good mental health among your team members can be as straightforward as:
Creating a healthy work environment. Do not tolerate malicious gossip, bullying, self-serving actions, negativity, aggressiveness, or any other destructive behaviours. These create toxic workplaces that make everyone miserable. Take fast action to resolve conflicts and disputes so they do not escalate.
Monitoring workloads. Most people enjoy being busy and challenged. However, being constantly overwhelmed with work or unreasonable deadlines can cause stress, errors, absenteeism, burnout, and can contribute to physical and mental health problems, such as high blood pressure and depression. Make sure team members are not drowning in work or frustrated with unreasonable deadlines.
Promoting work-life balance. While every manager wants enthusiastic, dedicated, and hard-working team members, the truth is that regularly spending long days at the workplace is a quick route to physical and mental exhaustion. Be sure to encourage people to take breaks, go to lunch, and leave at a reasonable time. Everyone needs time to switch off and re-energize, including hard-working managers!
Communicating with your team. The only way to effectively monitor workloads, identify emerging professional and personal issues, and offer constructive guidance is to have regular team and individual meetings. Staying connected to every person on your team also sends the message that you are invested in both their professional career and personal wellbeing.
Including employees in decision-making and problem-solving. Having some control over issues that directly affect them will reduce stress and increase engagement and morale. This can include face-to-face or group meetings, surveys, and forums.
Understanding mental illnesses. The more you know about mental illness, the more able you are to detect their early warning signs. While your job is not to diagnose or counsel, you can listen, be understanding, and direct employees to the organization’s assistance program or other resources for professional help. If an employee has been diagnosed with depression, anxiety, or any other mental disorder, be sure your team sees you treat it like any other illness.
Being a role model. Model the behaviour you want to see in your team. Treat people with kindness and respect, try to be fair and equitable, communicate openly, and be quick to eliminate negative behaviours.
Mental health issues are a growing concern for organizations. It is important to focus on prevention and to deal with any mental illness early—just as maintaining good physical health is promoted in the workplace. Both managers and employees need to take the time to learn about mental health, eliminate the stigma that often surrounds it and, together, develop workplace strategies that support healthy work environments.
Reposted with permission from Eileen Pease, Dynamic Learning.
Adapted from the HBR article written by Kelly Greenwod: https://hbr.org/2021/07/how-to-talk-about-your-mental-health-with-your-employer
By the time I disclosed my generalized anxiety disorder at work, it was too late. It had spiraled into debilitating depression and I could no longer even craft a basic email, much less do the rigorous job I was hired for. My previously high performance had very noticeably suffered, compelling me to nervously share the truth and ultimately forcing me out on a leave of absence.
In retrospect, a simple accommodation early on likely could’ve prevented all of that, saving me tremendous personal turmoil and my organization the extra workload.
What I didn’t know then is that up to 80% of people will experience a diagnosable mental health condition over the course of their lifetime, whether they know it or not. The prevalence of symptoms is the same from the C-suite to individual contributors, but almost 60% of employees have never spoken to anyone at work about their mental health status. Many high performers, including anxious achievers like myself, have strengths that often result from these challenges. I was not nearly as alone as I thought.
Mental health is a spectrum that we all go back and forth on, just like physical health. Most of us fluctuate between stress, burnout, and diagnosable conditions like depression or anxiety depending on what’s happening in our lives. While it may feel harder to disclose bipolar disorder than burnout, everyone should be able to relate on some level.
This has never been more true than it has been over the last 18 months, between the stressors of the pandemic, racial trauma, and more. Managers, direct reports, and colleagues have been more vulnerable and authentic than ever due to shared societal challenges and the blurring of the personal and professional with remote work.
That said, the effects of stigma can still loom large. My self-stigma told me that I was weak and should be ashamed of my anxiety and depression. Societal stigma told me that I would be judged and that professional repercussions would follow if I disclosed. However, since I widely disclosed my condition in recent years, none of those things have happened. As a result of my experiences, I founded Mind Share Partners, a nonprofit that focuses on changing the culture of workplace mental health. Here’s what we recommend if you’re considering disclosing a mental health challenge at work.
Read on to learn more about:
- Understanding: Self-reflect
- Deciding: Consider the context and resources
- Preparing: Explore your comfort level
- Sharing: Start the conversation
(At Dalhousie University, contact email@example.com to explore your workplace options.)