Workplace Mental Health: How to Address It Effectively

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Mental illness affects millions of people in the United States. Living in a situation like this shouldn’t be something you “simply live with.”

Mental Health Awareness Month is observed in May. In the United States, May has been designated as Mental Health Awareness Month since 1949. The goal of this movement is to find solutions.

Anxiety diagnoses have increased by 20% in the last decade, while depression diagnoses have increased by 15%. Employers must address mental health in the workplace since employees spend more time at work than on any other activity. However, effectively addressing mental health in the workplace requires going beyond simple rules and programs.

Adults with mental illnesses in the United States have greater unemployment rates than their mentally healthy colleagues. There are also extra health hazards associated with mental illness: patients with depression have a 40% higher chance of developing metabolic and cardiovascular disorders than the general population.

When it comes to mental health, employees require a more accepting and open atmosphere, additional training, and a personalized approach. So, how can you assist employees who are experiencing mental health issues?


Allow staff to work in their preferred manner.


While some firms have embraced open-plan offices in an attempt to improve collaboration and communication, it appears that it is not conducive to a joyful and productive working environment for some employees. It might be emotionally draining and stressful if they can’t concentrate adequately.

It won’t always be feasible, but it’s a valuable thought for companies that may rethink how their offices are set up and provide some flexibility.


Mental health education and training for managers.


The idea isn’t for managers to become therapists; they can’t and shouldn’t provide mental health counsel to their staff. They should, however, be able to detect common symptoms, manage challenging conversations, and communicate about mental health clearly and inclusively.

What they should not do is dismiss or disregard an employee’s mental health concern, as this is akin to workplace mobbing and can make struggling employees feel abandoned, leading to their problems spiraling out of control.

Managers can benefit greatly from mental health seminars, group, or one-on-one training with mental health professionals to acquire insight into the most prevalent symptoms and the methods to deal with them.


Encourage employees to keep their work hours consistent.


Most people have hectic periods where they opt to work a few more hours now and then, but if this becomes their regular working pattern, it may begin to negatively impact their mental health. Overworking could become the norm, resulting in harmful burnout.

Employees who are caring for family members require a lot of flexibility to maintain their emotional wellness. Others find that taking a break from work is an important part of self-care.


Is technology a help or a hindrance?


Companies can manage job stress and burnout by providing accommodations and encouraging individuals to use vacation time. They should make sure they’re employing technology to allow for flexible work arrangements; technology can help with both mental and physical wellness. Many firms also provide tech-based resources, such as meditation applications and tools, through their insurance and employee-health programs, to encourage employees to get more exercise and focus on both physical and mental health. These are excellent materials that should be promoted, and leaders can use them to carry out their goals.


A deeper bond.


Regular check-ins that make time for the query, “How are you?” are essential, as are strong working relationships and meaningful interactions among teams. Employers should support regular, deeper one-on-one talks between managers and direct reports, as well as amongst co-workers, by providing opportunities for connection across the organization. “How are you?” should always be followed with “How can I assist you?” if you’re a manager. It is impossible to stress the value of empathy and genuineness.


Make a point of thanking one another for their efforts.


Do you inform your staff that their work is important? Are employees expressing their appreciation for one another’s efforts? Let’s face it, we’re all quick to criticize ourselves and fail to give ourselves credit for our achievements! If that style of thinking becomes the norm, it might start to eat away at your happiness.

If, on the other hand, employees are consistently recognized and feel that their total contribution is valued as well as the outcomes they generate, this can have a huge impact on their happiness. It increases their belief in their own skills, which has a favorable impact on mental resilience as well.

It’s critical to emphasize to everyone in the organization that excellent mental health is a requirement, not a luxury. More crucially, in order to stay competitive in the larger economy, a company must ensure that its employees have access to the best treatment possible. It costs a lot of money to have a taboo around talking about mental health!


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