Research shows that 1 out of 5 adults in the United States experiences a mental illness every year. Even those of us that don’t have mental illnesses can suffer from the negative consequences of poor mental health.
Giving mental support to employees that need it is a wise choice for any business that wants to grow.
Not only will you gain loyalty from the employees that benefit from your actions, but you will have employees that work harder and feel better about themselves.
If you’d like to find out more about what you can do to make this happen, keep reading and implement some of the strategies discussed below.
What is Mental Health Support?
A business has a responsibility to employees that have mental health disorders or illnesses, but it also has a responsibility to employees that suffer from poor mental health.
Poor mental health is not the same as a mental illness because mental illness is a diagnosis from a professional.
We all have mental health that lies somewhere on the spectrum between poor and good. Mental health is emotional, psychological, and social wellness. These things impact our actions, thoughts, feelings, and relationships.
Certain things, like flexible working hours or redesigning work positions, may help with poor mental health but are not always possible for businesses. Luckily, there are other things that you can do if you want to create a welcoming and nurturing environment that breeds productive employees.
Having access to evidence-based treatments can be beneficial for depression and other mental health issues in the workplace. Providing support and guidance to employees, even if you personally are not the one doing it, is crucial.
What Can You Do?
A workplace can be a great location to support positive well-being and overall mental health strategies for adults.
If you create a workplace wellness program, you may be able to identify employees that are at risk and connect them with the treatment they need. You also can provide support within the business to your employees, such as tools to reduce and manage stress throughout the day.
A work environment is a great place to talk about these issues because:
- The programs and policies are in place already
- There are social support networks
- Employers can provide incentives for healthier behaviors
- Communication can be open among employees
- Employers can use data to track the progress of programs
It is important for businesses to address mental health problems within their work environment because it can reduce overall healthcare costs for the business, but it also improves productivity and employee satisfaction.
1. Provide Opportunities for Counseling
An employer can offer free or subsidized counseling for employees that choose to use it.
You also may want to offer lifestyle coaching or even self-management programs for employees that may want to utilize those services.
Implementing an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) can help with this because it gives employees the tools they need to be proactive.
You can provide access to counseling services electronically, which is more convenient and less nervewracking for many people.
2. Provide Information
Employers have the great benefit of getting a large number of employees in one space at a time. They can provide information in an efficient way so that it reaches anyone that may need it.
Distributing materials, like flyers or videos, about mental health, signs of poor mental health, and opportunities for treatment can be helpful for employees.
If an employee needs this information and doesn’t know where to turn, you can be proactive in giving them what they need.
3. Let Employees Make More Decisions
If employees are in charge of what happens during the workday, they are more likely to feel in control. This can benefit mental health at work and at home.
Giving your employees the chance to participate in important decisions that may impact their job stress and performance is a great place to start.
There may be employees that are feeling too overwhelmed and starting to burn out as a result. You may also have employees that wish they had more responsibility and feel they are not being utilized well.
Match these together to find the perfect balance.
4. Make Self-Assessment Available
If an employee is feeling down or more anxious than normal, a self-assessment tool can be helpful. It may provide them an answer as to whether or not they should seek professional help.
Making this option available to all of your employees gives them the chance to address issues before they get worse.
5. Hold Workshops and Seminars
You can invite guest speakers that are experts in the subjects to come and speak on a variety of topics.
Some topics that could be helpful for you to focus on are:
- Stress management
Giving employees the knowledge they need to work on themselves can provide benefits for you, as a business, and the employees themselves.
Employee Mental Support in the Workplace
Mental support for your staff is a great investment because it helps them gain the tools they need to thrive. In turn, they can help your business thrive with better work habits and a more optimistic attitude.
Implementing just a few of these strategies can help your business. If one doesn’t give you the results you want over time, you can always adjust and try another.
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