The coronavirus pandemic has changed what a normal day looks like for many across the country. And the pandemic has also increased the stress of many Americans. Prioritizing mental health and well-being in the face of a pandemic, which has caused many to lose their jobs or work from home, is something that every single person should be doing, but it often falls by the wayside.
More than 1 in 5 Americans have diagnosable mental disorders at some point in their lives, yet only about half of those individuals receive professional mental health treatment. A study from the Mental Health in the Workplace Summit also found that mental illness is the leading cause of disability for U.S. adults aged 15 to 44 and that more workdays are lost to mental health-related absenteeism than any other injury or illness.
Given its prevalence, you can expect that employees at your organization are experiencing mental health challenges or mental illness. That’s why it’s so important that your organization creates a culture that supports employees’ mental health. While this may sound complicated, creating a workplace that is supportive of mental health and illness is easier than it seems. Here are five simple ways that your company can support employees and their mental health.
- Promote Mental Health Awareness in the Office – When you openly talk about mental health, employees are more likely to feel comfortable about the concept, and reach out to managers or co-workers if they’re struggling.
- Offer Flexible Scheduling – Work-life balance, or a lack thereof, can affect an employee’s mental health. To help employees better balance their work and personal lives, employers across the country are embracing workplace flexibility.
- Address Workplace Stress – Nearly 80% of Americans consider their jobs stressful. Common job stressors include a heavy workload, intense pressure to perform at high levels, job insecurity, long work hours, excessive travel, office politics and conflicts with co-workers. While it may not be possible to eliminate job stress altogether for your employees, you can help them learn how to manage it effectively.
- Evaluate Benefits Offerings – Reviewing the offerings that your organization provides to ensure coverage for mental health services is essential to creating a culture that supports employee mental health.
- Train Managers – To ensure that no stigma surrounding mental health exists at your organization, it’s important that you properly train management in recognizing the signs of mental illness, excessive workplace stress, workplace bullying and fatigue.
To help our clients work through these issues, we recently created a toolkit that provides facts and tips related to mental health issues in the workplace. Click the following link to read our Mental Health Toolkit.
For additional resources on any of the strategies outlined above, contact us today.