How’s your mental health at work?

April is stress awareness month, so there’s no better time to talk about your mental health. Mental health in every setting is essential, but one area that is often overlooked is the workplace. How are you prioritizing your mental health? Is your workplace supporting your journey towards improving the mental health of its employees?

In the U.S., approximately 1 in five adults struggle with mental health issues each year. Forty percent of them don’t seek treatment due to the negative stigma associated with it. The average worker spends one-third of their life at work, so workplace mental health awareness is critical.

Poor Mental Health Directly Affects Job Performance

Workers suffering from mental health issues often have lowered engagement levels leading to poor quality of work. Communication skills diminish when a worker is overly stressed. And stress can manifest itself in physical ways that prevent people from doing their jobs well. Headache, muscle tension, pain, eye strain, fatigue, and stomach upset are just a few possible symptoms. An estimated 1 million workers are absent every day due to stress. 40% of job turnover is attributed to workplace stress. The price tag for absenteeism and job turnover is high for the worker and the employer.

Why it Matters

According to the Center for Disease Control, 1 in 10 Americans suffers from depression.

· Depression interferes with a person’s ability to complete job tasks about 20% of the time.

· Sixteen million adults in the U.S. had at least one major depressive episode in the past year.

· 80% of on-the-job accidents are attributed to stress.

In the wake of the pandemic, the change in workplace dynamics has increased mental health concerns. Companies are becoming more aware of the cost of poor mental health on their employees and their bottom line.

Ways to Improve Mental Health In the Workplace

There are concrete things that businesses can do to help employees’ mental well-being. The best place to start is to be open about mental health. Remove the stigma, share your own experience and encourage honest conversations and acceptance.

Pay attention to changes in employees’ behavior, mood, etc. Let your employees know that you have resources to help them if they require mental health assistance. And be sure that your employees know that normalizing mental health concerns don’t mean breaking confidentiality or anonymity.

Employers need to provide workplace flexibility along with clear and consistent communication. Easy accessibility to well-being benefits is also vital. Some companies amid the pandemic have expanded benefits to include free-therapy, meditation and wellness apps, and access to online fitness classes.

Mentally healthy workspaces can help as well when possible provide employees with plenty of natural light, open spaces, plants, and other comforting features.

Your mental health is essential, especially in the workplace. Dynamic Works is offering a 6-week series called Impact Hour that could be a great way to advance both your personal and professional skills in navigating sensitive areas!