Mental health in work place

Situations that have happened in more than the last two years have left consequences on all of us, therefore paying attention to mental health has never been more important

3 min to read
Written by: Ivana Perinčić

For many of us, work is a big part of our lives. It is where we spend most of our time, making a living and making friendships. Having a job that we are happy with and that fulfills us is an important element of our mental health and our wellbeing. Also, the mental health of an employer affects the company’s business.

Price of mental illness

There is an estimate that 264 million people suffer from depression worldwide, and many suffer from symptoms of anxiety. Research by the WHO shows that depression and anxiety cost the global economy 1 billion dollars every year because of employees lack of productivity that is caused by mental illnesses.

Many employers think that taking care of an employee’s mental health is not their job. However, the way employees think, feel and act affects not only their productivity and communication, but also on business of the company in which they work. Helping employees improve their mental health should be one of the most important steps employers can take for the welfare of individuals, but also the whole organization.

Business and mental health

Although there are more and more persons that openly talk about their mental problems, it is still a small number, especially in work place. Of course, a healthy workplace won’t prevent all problems with mental health, because there are a lot of factors that affect mental health, employers should take steps to help employees be healthier. One of the ways of taking care of an employee’s mental health is to encourage work life balance. Employees that work overtime, lose their productivity and very often experience burnout.  Therefore it is necessary to insist on regular rest and encourage fulfilled free time because with that quality of their work performance rises.

Support means a lot

While many employees won’t hesitate to take time off for dentist visits or ophthalmologists, many of them are ashamed when they need some time off for their mental health.  Showing support in those times, employers show how important an employee is. Support can be shown with conversation, flexible schedules so employees can go to therapy, days off or just acknowledging that nobody will be punished because they are taking care of their mental health.

Also, it is necessary to reduce stigma connected to mental illness by encouraging conversation about how to deal with stress, about self-care and mental health in general. When employees trust you that you won’t call them crazy because they had a panic attack or give them final notice because they are battling depression, it is more likely that they will seek help. Lucky, many mental problems can be cured.

It will take a lot of time before we start treating mental illnesses like physical diseases, but till then we can promote mental health one step at a time

 

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