Like our physical health, we all have mental health, and occasionally, one or both may suffer. One in four people in Scotland are estimated to be affected by mental health problems. With the challenges faced over the past year, that figure is likely to be significantly higher, thus presenting an opportunity for business leaders to demonstrate authentic leadership as we prepare to go back to the workplace.
The leadership style I refer to here is leadership with emotional intelligence. Leaders that are both empathic and bold enough to take a stand on mental health. Leaders courageous enough to see the strength that comes from vulnerability.
Business leaders are quick to support employee wellbeing programmes but appear to exist in a world where they are immune to mental health challenges. I would like to see more CEOs share personal stories, as these are more effective at empowering their employees who may lack the courage to speak up when they are not okay.
Covid-19 has presented a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to take a stand on mental health. If one in four of us are affected, then this should be high on the corporate radar of all CEOs. Have you got what it takes to take a stand on mental health?