Mental health is a topic that is being brought to light more often as of late. Because of this, it’s important to talk about it regularly. Especially in the workplace.
This guide will go over the ten reasons why mental health should be discussed in the workplace. It’s an important factor for not only yourself but also your employees. If you need any additional help regarding mental health in a professional setting, check out the additional information from Absolute Awakenings.
Now, let’s take a look at the following list below talk about mental health at the workplace.
- 1 Mental health affects overall performance
- 2 Increases overall awareness
- 3 End the stigma once and for all
- 4 Creating a positive work culture
- 5 Less turnover rate
- 6 Allow people to open up
- 7 You become more resourceful when someone needs help
- 8 Make the workplace safer
- 9 Allow mental health days
- 10 Let them know that ‘it’s OK not to be OK’
Mental health affects overall performance
Mental health and overall work performance do go hand in hand. If you know someone that is usually producing excellent quality work and notice something out of the ordinary, something may be up. You may notice a decrease in work quality, productivity, and performance.
It’s important to check up on your employees and ask them if they’re doing OK. They may do things that may seem ‘out of character’. Poor mental health can lead to a lack of enthusiasm in someone’s work even to the point where they may not show up at all.
Increases overall awareness
As mental health awareness increases, it’s important to make sure it’s talked about in various settings. The workplace is one of the best places. One of the best things to do is coordinate with a local mental health professional or someone similar to give a talk about mental health in the workplace.
You and your employees can block off a period of time where a presentation can be given on mental health in the workplace and what actions one should take in various situations. For example, you may be recommended to look out for signs of mental distress.
Also, allowing you (the employer) to confidently talk to your employees about potential mental issues. You can also have resources available in case they need help.
End the stigma once and for all
The mental health stigma has lasted a long time. However, it’s gotten weaker in recent years. That’s because many people have been more comfortable talking about their mental struggles. Furthermore, more are beginning to understand mental illness and how it’s affecting other people.
We have an opportunity to end the stigma. The best way to do that is talk about mental health and make sure people understand it from a certain baseline. Some may have a hard time with this for whatever reason at all.
The stigma still exists for now. However, we should not give up hope on making sure it ends for good.
Creating a positive work culture
One of the biggest goals any employer wants to achieve is building a positive work culture. In other words, co-workers are respectful to one another and are working together to meet your business goals. The discussion of mental health and looking out for one another is one of the pieces that should be included.
Creating a positive work culture can create a community where everyone is looking out for each other. Not because of business goals. It fosters our capability to care for others, even if it means taking care of them over ourselves in certain situations.
Less turnover rate
If a toxic work culture exists, more people will be leaving fast. That’s because they won’t be able to mentally handle it. When mental health is taken seriously and no such toxicity exists, this can reduce the number of people leaving (albeit en masse).
You’ll have people sticking around for the long term. They will feel like they have a welcome place to work at. They will feel happy knowing someone may check on them if things are not OK.
Allow people to open up
Mental health discussions should be suggested for one major reason. To let people know that it’s OK to speak up. Specifically, we want someone to discuss their mental health issues in a setting that is non-judgmental.
We want people to feel welcome to share their stories. Set a time or day for you and your employees to get together to get to know each other. You can encourage them to share their stories about their mental health if they feel comfortable.
You become more resourceful when someone needs help
Imagine one of your employees coming to your office. They are not doing their best mentally. Yet, you have something that can help them out.
You give them contact information to a mental health professional. You can become that go-to person for someone in your workplace. They trust you to help them out and point them in the right direction.
You are resourceful with a network of mental health professionals that can be a huge help for you and your employees when it’s needed.
Make the workplace safer
A safer workplace is what all employers must strive for. Someone who may be dealing with poor mental health may make it unsafe for themselves and others. That’s why it is important for you to take the right measures if something may seem amiss for an employee or even yourself.
Mental health issues can come with destructive behaviors (not only towards themselves, but others). So it’s important to catch it as early as possible before things get worse.
Allow mental health days
Let people know that mental health days are available when they need it. If they are not up to the challenge of working today because of issues that may be going on inside or outside of the workplace, give them that opportunity.
You can allow them to take a mental break so they are refreshed and ready to take on the tasks after a day or so.
Let them know that ‘it’s OK not to be OK’
There is that sense of shame people may feel when they are not mentally OK. Remind them that there is nothing to be ashamed about. Let them know that discussing such topics is a sign of strength as opposed to weakness.
As an employer, you need to be that leader that someone trusts. You want to be genuine and care about those who are willing to work for you, even for the long term.