Tuesday, September 26, 2023

How (and Why) to Improve Employee Mental Health


Did you know that an estimated 264 million people worldwide suffer from depression?

Depression is but one of many mental health disorders that affect individuals around the world. While mental health treatments are becoming more accessible, there’s still a stigma surrounding mental illness.

As a business leader, you have the power to change that—starting in your own workplace. But why should you care about employee mental health?

We’re here to fill you in. Check out the guide below to learn the importance of employee mental health and how to improve it in your office.

Why Employee Mental Health Is Important

Even if you aren’t aware of it, chances are one or more of your employees is dealing with a mental illness. In fact, one out of five American adults live with a mental illness. That means that approximately 20% of your staff is likely living with a mental illness.

Employee mental health has a profound effect on the performance of your business. An employee’s mental health extends past their private life. Their mental wellbeing directly affects their quality of work and mood.

Common disorders like anxiety and depression can lead to a steep drop in confidence. This can cause issues, especially for employees expected to lead teams and head projects.

Mental illnesses can cause less obvious symptoms too. Trouble focusing, fatigue, and migraines are all common symptoms of mental health disorders. This can lead to errors in work and a failure to submit projects in time. 

Along with affecting the quality of work, the mental health of your staff is also a reflection of its management. A manager who disregards the mental health of their employees comes across as cold and arrogant.

Putting in the effort to address mental health in the workplace shows that you care about the wellbeing of your staff. It also shows that you’re educated on issues that can affect performance in the workplace.

How to Improve Employee Mental Health

Your employees may initially be uncomfortable when you address mental health in the workplace. While it’s decreasing, there is still a stigma surrounding mental health. It’s your job to help break down that stigma in the workplace.

Implementing employee mental health programs are a simple way to begin. You can introduce mental health programs through seminars and presentations. An online webinar that employees can complete at home is one way to make the experience more comfortable.

You can further aid your employees through a more comprehensive program. Employee programs from websites like lifeworks.com provide professional resources to help employees treat and cope with mental illness. 

You can’t stop with one presentation and a mobile app though. You have to put in the work to make employee mental health a priority in the workplace.

Be sure to check in on employees if they appear to be struggling. It’s not your job to play therapist, but even a gentle show of support can go a long way.

Hold periodic meetings to get feedback from employees on the work environment. Get their opinions on what is affecting workplace positivity and how you can improve the office environment.

Moving Forward

Providing support and mental health resources to your employees will build a stronger bond between your staff and create an uplifting environment. There’s no time like the present to improve employee mental health in your workplace. 

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