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  • Writer's pictureFiona Feeley

Band-aids don’t repair broken brains

Radical changes to wellness

When it comes to corporate wellness, the whole concept of box ticking springs to mind. Despite the massive awareness and attention being placed on having elaborate wellness programs, employees are more stressed and anxious than ever before. Something doesn’t add up. Anxiety is an escalating epidemic which is seriously impacting on productivity and morale and the measures being put in place to deal with it clearly aren’t hitting the spot

One of the issues is that many approaches to wellness put the cart before the horse. The introduction of stress prevention techniques to someone who has been struggling with their mental health and anxiety management for considerable time is the equivalent to putting a band aid on a broken bone. A weekly yoga class or a once off stress management workshop isn’t sufficient. Stress should be assessed, treated and only then should preventative methods be introduced (think stress tolerance, emotional resilience, self-care techniques)

Another issue is the assumption of generic wellness requirements. People differ on so many more levels than their demographic would suggest; particularly when it comes to mental wellbeing and emotional resilience. Companies need to start taking an individual approach to employee wellbeing. A wellness assessment should be akin to an employee review if we are to realistically tackle the issue. We can no longer assume a one-size fits all strategy will suffice when it comes to something as unique as mental health. We need to switch from top-down and outside-in to bottom-up and inside-out.

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