4.6.21 Boda Insights: Supporting our colleagues’ mental health


We often ask our colleagues “How are you?” as a reflex. And they respond, “Fine, you?” We accept that response and move on to business as usual.

But the statistics about our mental health and emotional well-being tell a different story. We’re not all “fine.” Many of us are far from it. In the past year, 40% of adults in the US (and more globally) have reported symptoms of anxiety or depression, up from 10% in 2019. And the pandemic has disproportionately affected the health and mental health of women and communities of color.

Research shows that when employees feel like they can’t be authentic at work, (which includes saying they are “fine” when they are not) they report less job satisfaction, lower engagement, and demonstrate lower levels of performance.

The mental health challenges of COVID are far from over. Most of us are now experiencing chronic stress and distress because of the pandemic. It’s affecting us at work and at home. Although we want to take care of ourselves and support those around us, we’re not always sure how to check in on others without being pushy or prying. We also struggle to know what our role should be.

To help with this, The Boda Group is offering four one-hour, company-specific programs in May to support you and recognize Mental Health Awareness Month. These sessions can be tailored for groups of 5 to 50 in your organization:

Self-Help Stress Strategies When You Don’t Like Asking for Help 

When we experience too much stress – as most of us are experiencing now! – it can lead to physical illness, poor performance, and burnout. Stress is also contagious, spreading between people who work together – even virtually. While most of us are more than willing to help others, we’re often reluctant to request help for ourselves. In this interactive workshop, participants will learn 5 concrete strategies to help change their thinking, create new action plans, and connect to others so they don’t feel overwhelmed by stress, and underwhelmed by options for taking care of themselves.

How to Talk about Mental Health at Work: Creating Critical Connections without Overstepping

When it comes to experiencing stress and mental health challenges at work, many people aren’t talking about it. Why? Because they often feel embarrassed, concerned about the stigma of asking for help, or anticipate that things will never get better. Managers and colleagues can make this easier – or harder. We have a shared opportunity to start (or continue) a more helpful, healthy conversation about mental health, but only if our colleagues have the skills. In this session, participants will learn how to be a colleague that others confide in, what to say and what not to say to someone with a mental health challenge, and how to create an inclusive environment and reduce the stigma around mental health.

Embracing Uncertainty – Learning from What IS Working

2021 may feel uniquely uncertain. When will we get back to how things used to be? What won’t return? How will we need to adapt again…and again…and again? One way to address these uncertainties is by focusing on what is not working, what we’re missing, and what ground we’re losing. Another way to address these challenges is by focusing on what IS working, what we want more of, and how to leverage our strengths. In this workshop, we will use the core principles of Appreciative Inquiry – getting curious about what’s working well so we can expand it – to help ourselves, our colleagues, and our teams take a radically different and positive approach to embracing uncertainty.

Stress Strategies for Busy Women: How to Help Yourself While You’re Busy Helping Everyone Else

Research shows that women are almost twice as likely to suffer from anxiety as men. And when faced with life stressors, women are more likely to ruminate about them rather than engage in active, problem-focused coping strategies. In the face of an “always on” work culture, women’s work-life balance typically takes a backseat. The last year has made this significantly worse. Often, women leaders are concerned that requests for flexibility will negatively impact their reputations, promotability, and career growth. In this session, women will learn to challenge the sense of failure they may feel in not being able to meet expectations for themselves and others, as well as develop new mindsets and strategies for setting boundaries, preventing burnout, and taking care of their needs with a sense of pride.

To learn more, reach us at connect@bodagroup.com.