Supporting Employee Mental Health
According to the National Alliance of Mental Health, 1 in 5 Americans experience mental health issues. Our social, emotional and psychological wellbeing are all a part of our mental health. If our mental health is out of balance, it can affect how we think, act, and feel. With 20% of our employees coming to work suffering from personal problems, it is important to support employee mental health in the workplace.
Concerns of the pandemic have increased stress levels that were already high because of work, family, health or financial concerns. Employees who have been able to manage the stress in the past are finding they need to make changes and seek assistance to learn new ways to cope.
The mental health of employees is important because it can affect the ability to function or perform well at work. When mental health concerns are not addressed, it can cost the company because of absenteeism, tardiness, reduced efficiency, and accidents. If mental health is not addressed, it can lead to illnesses, driving health care costs up. Many employers who have not had Employee Assistance Programs are now adding it as a benefit to improve employee morale and to help with reducing overall costs.
What can you as an employer do to help your employees maintain positive mental health? The most important step is to help reduce the stigma around mental health. Become more educated on mental illnesses, help educate others at your company, examine your own attitude about it, choose how you speak about mental health, and support employees who are struggling with managing situations or problems in their lives. We see a doctor when our throat hurts; why not recommend seeing a counselor when our employees’ wellbeing is disrupted? According to the MentalHealth.gov website, ways to maintain positive mental health include:
• Getting professional help if you need it
• Connecting with others
• Staying positive
• Getting physically active
• Helping others
• Getting enough sleep
• Developing coping skills
Supporting positive mental health allows people to
• Realize their full potential
• Cope with the stresses of life
• Work productively
• Make meaningful contributions to their communities
When we acknowledge that mental and emotional well-BEING of our employees is important, we can make changes in our companies that help our employees feel it is okay to reach out for the support they need. This creates a positive organizational culture in which the value of “seeking help” is normalized and encouraged, rather than stigmatized. Healthy well-adjusted employees are the foundation of a strong business.
https://www.nami.org/mhstats. Retrieved April 19, 2021
https://www.mentalhealth.gov/basics/what-is-mentalhealth. Retrieved April 19, 202Tags: Employee Mental Health, Maintaining positive mental health, taking care of your employees' mental health
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