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BLOG | November 26 2020

There is no mental wellness…. just wellness

There is no mental wellness… just wellness. Andrew Siu talks about how investing in mental health is good for business and the wider community and economy.

A year ago this month, I married my best friend of more than ten years. Many people refer to such events as ‘gay weddings’, but we just saw it as ‘our wedding’, with no extra label attached.

Same for ‘mental health’, ‘mental fitness’, ‘mental agility’ and ‘mental wellness’.  You cannot have health without mental health, and you cannot have wellness without mental wellness. And yet, we often refer to them separately as though they are not connected. Additionally, once the label ‘mental’ is applied to health, there is often an assumption of illness or stigma. A positive and healthy mind underpins all aspects of our health and it is the most underestimated and least talked about part of our wellbeing… but this is changing.

Science has proven direct links between the health of our mind and our physical body, so we should be proactively exercising our minds just like we exercise our bodies. The decisions we make and how we react to what life throws at us, is all underpinned by how healthy our minds are.

For an employer, the mental health of your people is the single most valuable asset to your business and directly impacts organisational performance. Critical to the survival of any organisation is adaptation and embracing of a “new normal” in a post COVID19 world and this has increased our awareness of wellness and its impacts on business survival.

Here in Australia, mental health issues cost our economy $60bn per year When we add the impact of COVID19, costs to business are significant. However, investing in mental health is not just good for business, it’s good for our community. For every dollar spent on mental health strategies in the workplace its economic returns are estimated as high as 130%. If you need further convincing, renowned international expert on happiness, Shawn Achor, explains that with a positive mindset we are more agile, resilient and able to think more intelligently. Sales people are 37% better at sales and doctors are 19% more accurate and faster at delivering correct diagnoses.

At YourHealth+ our approach is to proactively manage our wellbeing by teaching positive mental health techniques that help us to thrive. Just like ‘we are what we eat’, so too our brains respond to what we ingest from what we read, see and listen to especially on social media and news. For a positive brain, you need to feed it positively, regularly and exercise it just like exercising your body. Whilst employers have an ethical responsibility to their staff, ultimately your wellness starts with you. You are in charge every morning of the way you choose to think and can include brain health into your lifestyle to maintain your optimum wellness.

Written by Andrew Siu, CEO, YourHealth+ (Powered by The Better Health Generation)