Mental health is the emotional and psychological wellness of an individual, and conditions and issues surrounding it affect countless adults in America and throughout the world. According to John Hopkins Medicine, an estimated 25% of working-age adults in the United States suffer from some form of mental illness, and such disorders can have a profound impact on their daily lives — including their time at work.
If employers want the best for their company’s well-being and continued success, then promoting mental health for employees who work there ought to be a top priority. Unfortunately, many companies do not fully understand or comprehend how mental issues can affect their endeavors or what can be done about them. Let’s review the influence of mental health in the workplace and strategies that leaders can take to help their employees.
The Influence of Mental Health in the Workplace
Mental health conditions and disorders can negatively affect the workplace in a variety of ways. For example, depression can lower an individual’s cognitive performance and prevent them from being as productive as they could have been otherwise. Additionally, mental health struggles impact life outside of work, resulting in poor sleeping and eating habits, which can worsen their abilities even further while on the job. These productivity issues, along with staff turnovers and other problems, have resulted in an estimated $1 trillion in annual losses for the global economy — which should signal to employers why promoting mental health in the workplace is so important.
However, just as mental health can affect the workplace, the reverse is also true. Workplace stress and anxiety can have a tremendous influence on an individual’s emotional and mental well-being that can worsen or even cause issues to arise. For instance, a lack of support and communication from leadership, having to work long hours without any room for flexibility, and other serious issues like harassment can contribute to employee mental health struggles. Given how employment plays a role in one’s financial security, being worried about the future of their role can be immensely stressful as well.
How to Promote Positive Mental Health for Employees
As demonstrated above, it is in a company’s best interest to maintain mental health in the workplace for both their continued success as a business and, more importantly, the wellness of their staff. Employers can take many actions to support employee mental health and have many opportunities to do so, including:
Creating a Safe Workplace
Reducing the risk of mental health issues in the workplace starts by preventing toxic work environments. Bullying, harassment, discrimination, and other related problems can lead to mental health concerns, so leadership must make an active effort to prevent workplace toxicity. Additionally, training managers to identify signs of mental health problems and promoting their understanding of them can be instrumental in creating a safe workplace.
Providing Informative Resources
Because employees might fear that they could lose their job, they may not feel comfortable openly discussing their mental health issues — preventing them from receiving the treatment they need. Employers can help their staff by providing a wide range of resources like videos and informative pamphlets to help their employees identify signs of mental health issues and how they can receive treatment. Also, offering clinical screenings for conditions like depression and mental health assessment resources will benefit employees who may not know they’re struggling with mental health problems.
Health Promotion Programs
A great way of promoting mental health in the workplace is by signing up for mental health promotion programs. If you’re interested in scheduling a program for your employees, then reach out to Wellness Coaches. We offer mental health and well-being services for companies that want to incorporate valuable resources to improve their employees’ mental health.
In addition, you can also contact us for corporate health coaching programs and more. Call us today for more information on our services.