Making mental health awareness a priority in business can be a good idea. Creating a supportive work environment can go a long way toward preventing stress and anxiety in the workplace. While addressing a variety of issues may be beyond the control of a business leader, business owners can empower their employees to create a healthy work-life balance for them and their company. A culture that fosters an inclusive environment that includes all people and cultures can also help reduce workplace stress and anxiety.
World Mental Health Day (October 10, 2022): In the digital age, we can easily find ways to help people feel good. Having a mental health day is an excellent idea. It provides a day off from work, school, responsibilities, and other activities and helps to relieve stress and burnout. These days are also a great way to change scenery and try new things. If you are experiencing high-stress levels, it may be helpful to talk to a doctor or mental health professional about ways to deal with them. Businesses can help create a welcoming and supportive environment by introducing a wellness program or hosting an office movie screening. The goal is to encourage employees to care for their mental health and stay mentally fit. Many mental health resources are distributed in PDF documents, which should be distributed to them in visually appealing formats, and in multiple languages, including braille.
How workplace mental health is at an all-time low: Workplace mental health has reached an all-time low, affecting employees’ well-being. A recent study by the American Psychological Association (APA) shows that the overall stress in the workplace has increased by 38% in the last year. The study found that 79% of employees felt stressed out at work the month before the survey. In addition, 32% said they were physically or emotionally exhausted by their work. Many employees with mental health problems may not seek treatment because they think they are tired or overworked. However, managers may not know how to spot the signs of underlying mental health issues in their employees. So, it is essential to offer help that can help improve employee performance. Providing mental health resources is crucial to ensuring an effective work environment. However, many employees find it challenging to participate in wellness programs and may have trouble navigating complicated enrolment systems. Companies must create a supportive environment for employees to use these resources. Fortunately, many companies are taking steps to address the problem. For instance, some organizations have increased their investments in workplace mental health resources and company culture.
Employers that champion mental health has better engagement: Employers that champion mental health are not only creating healthier workplaces but also better engagement for their employees. Employees who feel supported are less likely to report symptoms, underperform, or miss work. They are also more comfortable talking about their problems with co-workers. Moreover, these employees are more likely to stay at their current company. Mental health champions should be able to discuss mental health issues with their employees. Often, people with mental health problems are uncomfortable talking about their problems, and champions are an excellent way to help them share their experiences. By making themselves available to employees, champions can help them reach out and get the help they need.
Employees with mental illnesses are more likely to take time off: Mental illnesses are often accompanied by high medical costs, which can put an employer’s bottom line at risk. These illnesses affect nearly ten percent of the U.S. population and can prevent workers from performing essential functions. According to the ADA, employers are encouraged to make reasonable accommodations for employees with mental illnesses. However, workers with mental illnesses have historically not been as likely to receive accommodations due to the stigma of mental illness and the ambiguity surrounding what constitutes reasonable accommodations. In fact, according to a Society for Human Resource Management survey, two-thirds of employees fear asking for help will jeopardize their jobs if they tell their employer they need mental health accommodation.
Impact of COVID-19 on mental health: The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic has heightened awareness of mental health in the workplace. Many workplaces have considered a mental health risk and focused on managing incidents and individuals. These initiatives have made it more apparent that mental health is a constant reality for everyone. The coming years will see more organizations focus on mental health awareness. While the impact of COVID-19 has not yet been fully known, U.S. research has shown that 1 in three people with severe symptoms of the pandemic have since suffered from a neurological disorder. Furthermore, one in five adults reported having some form of depression, nearly double the pre-pandemic rate. Employers will need to be prepared for this growing concern by investing in training and resources that will help them support their employees’ mental health.
The importance of re-onboarding: Re-onboarding involves more than simply moving your staff back into the office. It is about re-establishing the company’s culture and addressing any support needs that new employees may have. For example, you should address shared office space, workspace layout issues, and any expectations regarding using these areas. You can also set new company values and behaviours during the re-onboarding phase and communicate new policies and practices. This ensures consistency across the organization and reassures employees that they are safe and welcome. During this phase, you should also celebrate the return of a former employee, especially if they were a part of the company’s culture before. When re-onboarding new employees, it is essential to provide detailed information to the new employees. For instance, you should provide details on employee rights and discuss new policies that affect them. For example, your organization should provide information on health benefits and work-at-home options for those with health conditions.
The importance of self-care to improve mental health: Self-care is crucial to improving your mental health. It includes a variety of activities that benefit you both mentally and physically. Self-care may include talking with a therapist or counsellor or engaging in activities such as reading or journaling. It might also include taking up a hobby or spending time with a pet. These activities will help you to clear your mind and maintain positive mental health. Exercise is another essential aspect of self-care to improve mental health. Regular exercise boosts chemicals that affect the brain’s reward centre. These chemicals are known as endorphins, dopamine, and serotonin. If you do not exercise regularly, consider starting with a short walk. Try to find an activity that you enjoy doing.
Importance of education for mental health: Education for mental health awareness in business is essential for a healthy workplace. Managers, supervisors, and employees should receive mental health training. Managers are the first line of support and notice changes in direct reports, so creating an environment that promotes mental wellness is crucial. Policies and practices must be culturally competent, and resources must be easily accessible. Mental health education can benefit a company’s bottom line by lowering absenteeism and increasing productivity. Mental health programs can also lower disability claims and improve workplace safety. These programs can also help companies meet workplace health and safety guidelines and limit legal liabilities.
Technology can help improve mental health: Technological advancements like the internet and mobile technology directly impact mental health. The number of internet users has tripled in the past decade, from just over 1 billion in 2005 to 3.8 billion in 2018, and mobile internet access has increased by 160%. Both of these factors are key to better mental health.
Technological advancements in mental health care are promising, but a lack of funding often creates challenges in implementing these tools. Ethical concerns also need to be addressed when using new technology. Many new technologies are not yet thoroughly tested and have not been put through rigorous clinical trials. Technology-based mental health interventions must be used cautiously, as they can pose risks. High-risk technologies are those that can diagnose mental illnesses and offer clinical interventions. However, these technologies should be used with caution since the misdiagnosis of mental illnesses can have devastating consequences. Low-risk technologies can monitor symptoms, support a therapist, or provide advice.