Mental health affects everyone, excessive pressures at work can have negative impacts on anyone at any time, leading to illness or conditions. It also affects the organisation, in the form of absenteeism, accidents, productivity, and costs. Therefore, it would make sense for organisations to manage those excessive pressures rather than simply treat symptoms, so why don’t they?
It’s exceptionally difficult to manage something that’s not visible, we don’t really see it, so we don’t understand how it impacts our people.
When human beings experience mental health impacts in social settings such as work, we try to camouflage the impact to appear unaffected, trying to blend into the background by normalising the pressure we experience. This makes it exceedingly difficult to manage. Most human beings adopt what they believe to be acceptable social behaviours in these types of situations. This mimicking of behaviours is known as the Chameleon Affect, the non-conscious mimicry of mannerisms, facial expressions, and other behaviours of one’s interaction partners, such that one’s behaviour passively and unintentionally changes to match others in the current social environment. Doing this to disguise our mental health experiences, is extremely negative and harmful.
What would this look like in terms of workplace mental health harm? In a group of people coping well with workplace pressures, an individual who is struggling is unlikely to express their true experience so they can feel accepted in the social group. Meaning they are highly likely to adopt the behaviours that reflect coping rather than expressing their authentic experience, thereby camouflaging their own mental health experience, making genuine mental health experiences invisible.
This is the reason we created Chamelii, a digital mental health management system that makes mental health workplace experiences visible, empowering business solutions through workplace experience, and because we understand mental health is different for everyone, each employee is provided confidential wellbeing support to meet individual needs. The more each individual cares for their Chamelii through interaction the more intelligent Chamelii become in supporting their mental health and wellbeing. Whilst maintaining individual confidentiality, it allows better understanding and identifies key trends.
Omniscient Safety Innovations Ltd & Chamelii tackle root cause stressors, affects and symptoms to build cultures of prevention at work, which is a legal requirement. This reduces the impacts on the individual and business through improved engagement, productivity, health, wellbeing, and of course authentic mental health interaction which breaks workplace stigma.
Innovator Brett Townsley said: “Mental health is more than self-care – time off from a harmful workplace only to return to the same experience is unhealthy. People are the most crucial factor in any business, we need sustainable mental health solutions that enable us to prevent harm and that’s what we do.”