How to Support Mental Health in the Workplace.

Did you know nearly 1 in 5 adults in America live with mental illness, according to the National Institute of Mental Health?  Today, more than ever, we believe its a good time to recognize those employees who are battling these health issues and build a workplace that supports them.

Mental Health in the Workplace - Premier

Mental Health, unfortunately, is not something many people want to talk about. Individuals who struggle with mental health concerns likely feel uncomfortable disclosing them, fearing that they may be judged negatively. In this case, the workplace, fearing being passed over for promotions and being viewed as less competent. They may also fear they’ll be bullied, gossiped about, and excluded socially.

Employers have the power to change the stigma of mental health and reduce these fears. Organizations that do a good job regarding mental health are building it into their broader health and performance-related conversations.  Avoiding the opportunity for the discussions to get siloed off, becoming separate from our health issues and functioning issues. 

Why is it important to talk about Mental Health?

Working to reduce mental health stigma in the workplace benefits not only employees and organizations but the economy as well.

According to the APA, excessive stress in the workplace causes 120,000 deaths and leads to almost $190 billion in healthcare costs a year. Depression and anxiety cost the global economy $1 trillion a year in lost productivity, according to the World Health Organization. When employers do make an effort, job satisfaction, and motivation increase while stress and turnover diminish. 

Actionable Steps to Improve the Mental Health conversation in your workplace:

  1. Create an employee assistance program: Everyone deals with big personal challenges, including financial, relationship, and caregiving stresses. Being able to handle such matters with the support of an employer helps everyone perform at their best. 
  2. Taking time off to recharge:  According to this survey, 10,000 employees found that 55% said they were afraid of taking a day off of work to attend to their mental health. Encourage employees to take time off to recharge can reduce stress and restore productivity, motivation and energy. 
  3. Implement relaxing office breaks.  When we get stressed out it’s really easy for us to ignore our health. The key to breaking this habit is to take mental breaks.  Creating space at the office where we encourage employees to find time to not even think about work can not only help productivity but also stimulate them.  Relaxing activities, such as yoga or meditation are great outlets for establishing daily mental health support. 

If you are interested in learning more ways to destigmatize mental health in your workplace set up a free consultation with Premier by emailing kwilliams@premier-cp.com or you can call 918-294-7410.