Why Employee Mental Health Should be a Priority
Happy and healthy employees form the backbone of a company. However, not all your employees might be dealing with stress the same way. It is important to make mental health a priority. Ignoring it can have adverse effects not only in terms of employee morale – but also overall productivity.
Why is Employee Mental Health important
Mental health disorders form a wide spectrum of illnesses that affect the mind. According to the World Health Organization more than 300 million people around the world suffer from depression, and many also have symptoms of anxiety. That is indeed a large number. Common causes of such disorders include hereditary genetics, repeated stress and psychological trauma.
Often, employees don’t feel comfortable enough to come out with their illness in the fear that they will be treated differently. A person suffering from a mental health disorder in an environment that does not support them will not perform well. They are often unable to make good decisions, and the whole team can be affected. In fact, the World Health Organization states that depression and anxiety have adversely impacted the economy, with a global cost of USD 1 trillion per year in lost productivity.
It’s important to make mental health a part of the conversation, not only as professionals but as human beings who care for one another. If employers make a culture that is tolerant and supportive of mental health, employees are more likely to stay and give their best for the company. After all, people spend a majority of their waking hours at work.
One Step at a Time
- The first and most important step, is to inculcate an open culture where the subject isn’t taboo or frowned down upon.
- Education and awareness are key. Create or curate mental health information, workbooks and resources and share them with your employees. You can also arrange trainings on how to cope and recognize mental health disorders.
- Stress is one of the leading causes of depression. Evaluate your work environment and try to identify triggers that cause negativity.
- Promote healthy eating, wellness and a positive work life balance.
- Recognize your employees for their efforts, no matter how small. Provide your utmost support until they get better.
Lastly, never hesitate to reach out to or consult with a medical professional on how to tackle a situation related to mental health. You can even reach out to your management and check how you can reduce work-related stress.