Importance of Mental Health in the Workplace

Importance of Mental Health in the Workplace

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Importance of Mental Health in the Workplace

Mental health in the workplace is top of mind for everyone these days. While a lot has changed about what we understand about mental health at work, and how widespread poor mental health is, it's worth taking a look at the basics.

The discourse surrounding mental health has garnered increasing attention in recent years, particularly heightened by the profound impact of the pandemic on our daily lives. Recent surveys indicate that 84% of Americans report feeling stressed weekly, up from 78% in March 2021. 

Prioritizing mental health support within the workplace has never been more vital. The evolving societal landscape has increasingly emphasized the significance of mental well-being, encouraging open conversations and proactive initiatives.

Notably, public figures such as celebrities and sports icons including Simone Biles, Naomi Osaka, and Dak Prescott have courageously shared their personal journeys with mental health, propelling this crucial issue into the global spotlight. As this imperative gains momentum in media coverage, it has transcended from a mere workplace benefit to an indispensable necessity.

What is Mental Health?

The first step of supporting the mental health of your employees is by understanding what it is. Mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act. When you experience mental health problems, your thinking, mood, and behavior could be affected.

Many people aren’t aware of all the different types of mental health. Some mental health conditions include anxiety disorders, behavioral disorders, eating disorders, substance use disorders, mood disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder, personality disorder, psychotic disorder, suicidal behavior, and post-traumatic stress disorder. To learn more about each, please visit MentalHealth.gov.

Effects of poor Mental Health in the workplace

Supporting mental health in the workplace is crucial for a myriad of reasons, as evidenced by extensive research and expert opinions. The overall well-being of an office environment significantly improves when mental health is prioritized. Engaging in open discussions about mental health is vital, as it directly correlates to enhanced employee productivity and satisfaction.

Here’s an enhanced breakdown of the detrimental effects of poor mental health in the workplace:

  • Impaired Decision Making: Employees experiencing poor mental health may exhibit compromised decision-making abilities, potentially leading to missed meetings, tardiness, or non-compliance with company policies.
  • Decreased Productivity: Consistent struggles with mental health can result in a persistent reduction in productivity, hindering the individual’s ability to perform optimally.
  • Reduced Engagement: Those grappling with mental health challenges often display decreased motivation and focus compared to their mentally healthy counterparts, impacting their engagement levels at work.
  • Communication Challenges: Poor mental health can pose significant barriers to effective communication, leading to instances of perceived passivity or hostility during interactions with colleagues.

By recognizing and addressing these impacts, companies can foster a supportive environment that values and promotes mental well-being, ultimately leading to a more resilient and thriving workforce.

Ways to Promote Mental Health

When addressing mental health in the workplace, while it may not be entirely preventable, there are certainly strategies to mitigate its impact on business operations. One of the most impactful measures an organization can take is to provide comprehensive resources to support employees’ mental well-being. These resources encompass a range of initiatives, including:

  • Mental Health Self-Assessment Tools: Offering self-assessment tools equipped with targeted questions and resources can help individuals identify and address mental health concerns. These tools may include assessments for work-life balance, mental health meter quizzes, and mood assessment checklists, providing valuable insights and directing employees toward suitable support resources.
  • Access to Mental Well-Being Coaches: Facilitating access to mental well-being coaches empowers employees to seek professional guidance in navigating mental health challenges, thereby bolstering their overall mental resilience and well-being.
  • Comprehensive Health Insurance Coverage: Providing inclusive health insurance coverage that encompasses medication and mental health counseling at minimal or no cost can significantly ease the financial burden associated with seeking essential mental health support.
  • Dedicated Relaxation Spaces: Recognizing the ubiquitous stress inherent in every role, creating designated relaxation spaces where employees can take brief, uninterrupted breaks can notably enhance their mental well-being and rejuvenate their focus.
  • Employee Assistance Program (EAP): Implementing an EAP within the workplace can offer invaluable support to employees dealing with personal or work-related challenges that may impact their job performance. This program, rendered at no cost, extends assistance for traumatic events and various adversities, serving as a crucial lifeline for employees in need.

By embracing these proactive measures, organizations can foster a culture of holistic support and care, ultimately contributing to a more resilient and flourishing workforce.

Discussing Mental Health

Mental health awareness in the office is crucial to have a successful business. Take the time to implement these programs and policies we mentioned to help increase employee retention, engagement, decision-making, and productivity.

As a staffing agency that employs thousands of temporary employees each year, we are dedicated to supplying our employees with the best resources for their mental health. 

We hosted a webinar on How to Manage Stress with Workzbe Work/Life Integration Consultant Bonnie Bonner. To learn more about mental health awareness, you can view this video below.

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