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Improving Mental Health in the workplace

Improving Mental Health in the workplace

About 1 in 5 adults in the United States has a mental illness each year. Stress-related problems in the workplace have been on the rise for nearly 20 years, and every year mental illness and chronic stress lead to depression. And when it comes to productivity, depression costs American companies about $44 billion. It is crucial to understand how mental health affects employees and how companies can take care of their equipment.

Well-being in the workplace is not just about physical well-being: nutrition, exercise, healthy biometrics, quality sleep. It is much more holistic and should include a focus on workplace mental health. Whether it’s good times or stressful times, it’s always important to focus on employee mental health at work.

Fortunately, several strategies can be put in place to help support the mental well-being of your employees.

  1. Conduct employee surveys on workplace mental health stressors. Many companies implement stress management programs, and this is a good start. But it’s important to communicate with your employees regarding what stresses them at work.
  2. Help employees reduce stress, not just manage it. After assessing the major stressors in your population, make addressing mental health at work a priority. If flexible hours or teleworking will help people juggle work and life, go for it. If resources are an issue, increase staffing, outsource, add a budget, change priorities and put some projects on hold.
  3. Be open about mental health. The most important step in overcoming the stigma is to stop treating mental illness as taboo. Whether it’s an article you’ve read, a show you’ve watched, or a personal experience you’ve had, talking about it openly and shamelessly will help others realize they’re not alone.
  4. Make time for fun and humor. Whether it’s a game or just connecting via chat, having fun with colleagues increases productivity and builds trust. It also relieves stress by forcing a cognitive change in how stressors are viewed and creates a positive emotional response. In addition, laughter stimulates relaxation, thus reducing stress on its own.
  5. Ensure your company provides adequate coverage of mental health services benefits, from individual and couple counseling to therapy group sessions. If you haven’t already, offer an employee assistance program that provides access to qualified mental health therapists and various services to help employees manage their lives, such as babysitting, housekeeping, and even commissions.

Focusing on Psychological Well-Being in the workplace is essential for employee care. Poor mental health and stress can adversely affect employee performance, engagement, and communication with colleagues and business results. So focus on the positive because mental illness is a serious problem that can be addressed in a manner that makes people feel valued, understood, and hopeful.

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