5 Ways to Support Mental Health at Work
The times have changed and although pessimists will tell you that it did for the worst, there is a lot of growth and development that has occurred that is truly for the benefit of us all.
One of the ways the times have changed is that we have all become aware of how mental health should be taken care of and how it affects our lives in many ways.
A person’s career has a lot of say in the overall mental health of a person. After all, this is something that they do and are involved in for a lot of their lives. Thus, employers should make sure that they have ways to support the mental health of their employees.
Otherwise, you can have unproductive, unmotivated, constantly ill employees who produce poor work quality.
It’s human to care for one another. With that said, below you’ll find different ways that a workplace can support the mental health of its employees:
What Causes Mental Illness?
Mental illness can be caused by a lot of things and sometimes it depends on the actual mental illness.
In fact, in most mental illnesses, the direct and exact cause may not be ever known. Some common causes of mental illness are trauma, neglect, and genetics.
If a person has a mental illness, they aren’t any less of a person and they should be treated right. However, they are still severely hindered by their conditions so people should be sensitive to these conditions.
The symptoms of mental illness also vary and will depend on the type. Oftentimes, it can be quite subtle. Nonetheless, people should be conscious of how they treat people regardless of the fact that they have a mental illness or not.
This is the reason companies should be better in terms of taking care of their employees’ mental health.
1. Promote Awareness
Despite the current culture of being better at taking care of oneself, both mentally and physically, sometimes we can get lost in the noise of everyday living.
Due to that fact, one of the ways that you can help support better mental self-care in the workplace is by promoting self-care awareness.
You can get the help of reliable sources to assist you in developing programs within the organization that can help people with mental illness. Aside from that, you can create a campaign within the organization that encourages camaraderie and care for one another so that everybody is looking out for the person beside them.
This culture of awareness is a small but strong step towards having a better mental health culture in the workplace.
2. Encourage Them to Talk
When people are plagued by their mental illness, it makes them insecure and anxious about their relationships with people.
They start to think that they don’t want to burden people with their issues even though it would help their mental condition to be in the presence of another to talk out their feelings.
With that said, create a healthy environment in the office that shows your employees that you are open to having a private conversation with them at any time. For people with mental health issues, knowing that they have a support system is vital in times when everything seems overwhelming.
Don’t push them to talk to you if they don’t want to, but tell them that your door is always open should they feel the need to talk to someone.
3. Encourage Work-Life Balance
Although we have a culture of self-care today, there is also another modern culture of “hustling” and “grinding” non-stop until you achieve your goals.
This kind of movement may seem motivating at first, but in the long run, it’s not a healthy way to live.
It is important that people find a balance between their careers and the rest of their lives. Their lives shouldn’t revolve around their work alone. Otherwise, they can get burnt-out too quick and their work quality will decrease. With that said, you should encourage your employees not to work overtime too often.
Also, tell them to take their vacation leave when they can. They shouldn’t work ‘til they drop because it won’t be good for them and the company.
4. Offer Help
As mentioned before, having a support system that you know is there to back you up is super helpful when you’re going through a mental crisis.
Even though this is the case, people with mental issues are afraid of asking for help because they don’t want to be judged and make themselves feel worse because of it. Therefore, you should take the initiative to always look out for one another. Offer help even if no one asked for your help.
For example, if you find that they are struggling with their commute and that the stress is getting to them, you an offer to have them work from home more often than they have to go to the office.
Even something as mundane as having a deep cleaning session in the office can also help. According to MaidSailors Office Cleaning, “Ensuring that your offices are kept clean and tidy helps to create positive first impressions and improves employee morale and work ethic.”
Help can come in all shapes and sizes. The act of acknowledging one’s struggles and offering to help with it is a huge point of gratitude for a lot of people with mental illness so be kind in the workplace if you can.
5. Build a Support System
Again, a support system is crucial during times when your mental illness is clouding your sense of reality. With a solid support system, you can find ways to anchor yourself to reality.
Team-building activities are a great way to develop a sense of family in your employees. Going out for team dinners every once in a while is also a great informal way of getting to know one another and to slowly build up a solid support system not only for work matters but also for one’s mental health.
Mental health affects so much in people’s lives, so organizations should be proactive in their approach when it comes to better mental health in the workplace. Although there is no perfect solution, just the fact that a company is trying to make a better workplace is a huge step on its own.