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If you're a leader, consider your impact on mental health

25 March 2024

Leaders and managers have an important role in in establishing a context for mental health and wellbeing at work. Coaching can help them achieve this.

Written by: Renate Scherrer-Fouche

The World Health Organisation (WHO) constitution states that:

"Health is a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity". 

Specifically, to mental health they indicate that:

"Mental health is more than just the absence of mental disorders or disabilities. Mental health is a state of well-being in which an individual realises his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively, and is able to make a contribution to his or her community."


The reality is however, that the demands of the modern workplace are far removed from 'the normal stresses of life'. It is an ever-evolving landscape characterised by complexity, ambiguity, constant change, and fierce competition.

Therefore, it is no surprise that burnout (a state of emotional, physical, and mental exhaustion caused by excessive and prolonged stress that has not been successfully managed), as a state of mental ill health is reaching epidemic proportions.

The impact of this is that leaders and employees who experience these symptoms will struggle to function optimally at work or in their community and will not be able to contribute to organisational performance in a meaningful way. 


As part of their 'duty of care', organisations have the responsibility to create an environment where employees can thrive and find meaning or a sense of purpose. It is the leaders of the organisation who must drive this agenda and set the tone for wellness by promoting a workplace culture that reduces the risk for psychosocial risk factors such as overworking, tight deadlines and long hours, to name a few. Leaders are, however, often unaware of their impact on the culture within their team or the bigger organisation.

This is where coaching emerges as a powerful tool to facilitate awareness, growth, and performance improvement.

At JVR, we believe that all employees have the potential to succeed, want to take ownership of their success, and that organisational success hinges on individual and team success.  

Whether you aim to enhance leadership effectiveness, drive organisational change, or cultivate a thriving workplace culture, individual and team coaching can serve as a catalyst to achieve this. 

Interested in rolling out a coaching programme in your organisation?

Click here to learn more about the Coaching Hub at JVR.


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