Mental health at work: Why and How to Promote it as an Employer


Many business bosses don't give a second thought to their employees' mental health at work. Workers' mental and emotional states directly impact everything from their ability to keep the workplace safe to communicating effectively and efficiently. 

Dr. Job Pro is here today to discuss mental health at work.

When it comes to mental health, what is it? 

How a person thinks, feels, acts, and interacts with others is mental health. 

When it comes to mental health issues, they can be temporary or long-term. People may not be able to cope with the demands of daily life. 

Employees with a long-term mental disease or who are sensitive to poor mental health may also be affected. 

Examine mental health issues and results in the same way you would consider physical health issues and outcomes. 

To illustrate this point, if an employee spends a lot of time outside in the sun without sunscreen, they are more likely to develop skin cancer (illness).  

Witnessing a workplace incident might have a long-term impact on an employee's mental health if they aren't correctly cared for. 

Read also, Job Burnout: 12 Effective Ways To Deal With it

Many mental health issues are significantly more widespread than previously thought, as seen by the stats at the beginning of the article. As a result, companies should prioritize workplace mental health and safety as a high priority. 

Poor mental health at work can result in the following: 

1- Engagement with one's job 

 Demotivation and a lack of attention might result from a lack of mental wellness. When we have mental health concerns, our thoughts and emotions become irrational and difficult to control. 

2- Job performance and productivity 

High performance is a manifestation of one's mental fortitude in action. 

Accessing the behavioral skills that promote creativity and resilience might be difficult when we're not feeling well. Without these abilities, we are unable to perform at our best in our occupations. 

3- The capacity to carry out one's regular routines with ease 

Anxiety disorders, such as social phobia, impair cognitive function and working memory and negatively impact day-to-day activities and physical capabilities.  

4- Communication 

 When we're not feeling well, it's tough to communicate effectively. 

 Poor mental health might cause people to misread or overreact to their coworkers. It might be seen as a passive-aggressive tone, a lack of attention to detail, or a sour attitude. 

5- Irresponsible decision-making 

 A lack of self-control, harmful thinking, and poor decision-making can result from a lack of mental health.  

Missing meetings, showing up late, abandoning commitments, or not following corporate standards are consequences of poor decision-making. 

How can employers promote mental health at work? 

1- Leadership should be involved in raising awareness 

Anxiety and depression are typically taboo topics in the workplace, even among close-knit colleagues. However, when their elders lead by example, this changes. 

Mental health concerns are no longer stigmatized when executives and even CEOs publicly discuss their struggles. 

Take into account applying the following ideas in your company. 

You may utilize your company's training materials and social media postings to talk about how you're supporting initiatives to raise awareness about mental health. Then make sure your personnel is aware of the opportunities that are available to them. 

It's important to get senior managers and CEOs to discuss their struggles with mental health issues.  

Your employees need to know they're not alone and encourage them to ask for help if they need it, so invite your best performers to share their stories in public. 

Your organization probably has employees who aren't scared to open out about their mental health issues. Bring their tales to light and, if they agree, invite them to share them with the rest of the organization and the public. 

The purpose of this campaign is to make it more acceptable to talk about mental health problems. 

As soon as it becomes commonplace for employees to openly discuss their mental health issues and receive the help they need, you can declare that the firm truly cares about their wellbeing. 

 2- Maintain a healthy work-life balance 

If you reward your workers for staying late and arriving early, or if you expect them to work from home on evenings and weekends, you're doing your business a disservice. 

 A lack of work-life balance can lead to decreased productivity and an increase in burnout among employees. 

Employees should be required to take frequent vacations that allow them to disconnect from work. Do not expect everyone to be available 24 hours a day to respond to your email. 

Aside from the office, encourage everyone to have a rich and fulfilling personal life. 

People who have interests outside of work, spend time with friends and family, and prioritize their wellbeing are more productive. 

3- Insist on the necessity of taking time off for mental health concerns 

Due to mental health difficulties, employees have been more willing to take time off from work in recent years. There is still a stigma behind admitting you're staying at home to care for your mental health. 

You must wonder how many "other causes" or "minor ailments" have been used to cover up despair and anxiety if the flu is the most prevalent excuse for employees to stay home from work. When you have a panic attack, it's far easier to contact your boss and claim that you're feeling under the weather than it is to explain that you need the day off to recuperate. 

It's common for employees to fabricate an excuse for taking a mental health day if they're afraid they'll be criticized or punished for doing so. The employee's poor level of commitment and productivity is exacerbated because of this, and you miss out on the chance to provide genuine assistance. 

As a precaution, make it clear that taking time off for mental health issues is acceptable and necessary. To normalize mental health difficulties, encourage employees to share their reasons for being absent with their coworkers. 

4- Talk about mental health in the workplace

Stress, sadness, anxiety, or any other mental condition may be discussed openly, so don't be frightened. Make it evident that everyone has mental health issues at some point in their lives. 

Train managers to recognize the warning indications of mental health issues and to respond accordingly. A supervisor's sympathetic dialogue with an employee can be a powerful motivator for them to seek treatment. 

5- Managers should be educated and trained on mental health concerns

Mental health awareness and providing a safe place for employees to discuss mental health concerns are just two of the many responsibilities you have as an advocate. 

Here, the purpose is not to turn managers into therapists – they cannot provide mental health counselors to their staff members. However, they should detect common indicators, manage tough conversations, and communicate about mental health assertively and inclusively. 

Not addressing a worker's mental health concerns is similar to workplace mobbing and can make employees who are already struggling feel isolated and powerless. 

Managers can benefit greatly from mental health seminars, group, or one-on-one training with mental health specialists to get insight into the most prevalent symptoms and the tools to cope with them. 

6- Providing free screening tools is a good start 

Because most employees fail to detect mental health problems' warning signs and symptoms, many go untreated. As a result, people may label their problems as "stress" or convince themselves that they'll go away if they don't seek help. 

7- Prioritize your health 

A few basic techniques to enhance mental power and promote mental health include exercising, eating healthily, and engaging in recreational activities. 

Help folks create excellent habits by prioritizing this effort. Incentives for employee participation in wellness programs or complimentary gym memberships are only two ways to emphasize the importance of health and wellbeing in the workplace. 

8- Hire a psychologist  

Hiring a psychologist to conduct half-day sessions often each year can prevent difficulties and highlight the value of good habits. 

It might save the organization money in the long run while also allowing employees to attain their full potential through on-the-job training. 

9- Encourage your staff to seek assistance 

While most people don't hesitate to take time off to go to the dentist, many of them are likely to be reluctant to seek help for their mental health. Employees' mental health is just as important as their physical health, so make it known you support their attempts to do so. 

Make it clear that you will not punish anybody for attending to their mental health, whether that means letting an employee take a mental health day or creating a flexible work schedule so an individual can attend therapy appointments. 

10- Take away the stigma 

Discussions in groups and via email on stress reduction, self-care, and mental wellbeing can help lessen the stigma attached to mental health issues. 

Employees are more likely to pursue it when they know they won't be scolded or fired for seeking help for a panic attack or depression. The good news is that almost all mental health issues may be successfully managed. 

In conclusion,

raising awareness about mental health at work and fighting its stigma is essential. We wish everybody who suffers from mental health issues to get well soon.