In a broader sense, mental health refers to our psychological, emotional, and social wellbeing. It affects our thought patterns, our feelings, our actions, and to a great extent, it dictates the way we navigate through life. Mental health also reflects in the way we manage stress and make important decisions in life. Individuals who have experienced mental health issues understand that it can hamper one’s life and cannot be taken lightly under any circumstances.
A common misbelief is that mental illness can only be contracted outside of work. However, as there is usually a web of complex interconnected factors when it comes to mental illness, one cannot be certain as to what can trigger an emotional episode or induce malfunctioning psychological patterns. There are several different factors, such as the atmosphere, that can have a substantial impact on the mental wellbeing of the employees.
Therefore, to ensure a safe and productive environment, businesses and companies must invest in awareness seminars conducted by a professional mental health advocate speaker who can offer useful insight into the importance of mental health within a workplace. Here is why investing in mental health awareness so important for the workplace.
Safe Workplace Culture
By simply vocalizing about the subject of mental health in a positive light can make a huge difference in the workplace environment. Over the last few years, we have seen an immense rise in mental health advocation that is targeted to dispense the societal stigma concerning mental illness. Mental health speakers and awareness advocates have been popularizing the idea of talking about mental health issues more expressively.
One of the greatest things that an organization can do is to create a safe, nonjudgmental place where the employees feel more liberated and confident to talk about their mental health problems. It not only makes the employees feel valued but also creates an environment of acceptance and compassion. Mostly, employees tend to remain silent because they risk being judged or, worse, losing their jobs. However, proper education and awareness encourage the employees to express their beliefs and concerns freely, which creates a healthy and productive environment.
Early Intervention and Prevention
Meeting the deadlines and keeping up with the day-to-day work tasks is not only physically exhausting, but it can have a negative impact on our stress levels and mental health. If these issues and emotional incapacity are left unaddressed for a long time, it can manifest into a bigger problem and lingering mental illness, which can be difficult to eradicate. Thus, by investing in mental health advocacy and awareness activities, it becomes easier for employees to concede the issue before it becomes something serious and even threatening.
Improved Productivity and Engagement
According to research reports and statistics, the is a strong correlation between the mental health condition of the employees and their work performance or productivity. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the treatment of depression leads to a 40 – 60% absenteeism, which in turn results in better overall health and performance. By proactively addressing mental illnesses prevalent in the workplace, employers can cut down the costs, and even more significantly, promote a healthier employee base.
It is the duty of the employer or the management to offer guidance and support to any employee who displays symptoms of mental illness. The mental health of a company’s employees greatly reflects in their overall productivity and can impact their workflow, decision-making abilities, critical thinking, and social interactions within the workplace.
Reduce Costs and Risks
A workplace with a mentally healthy workforce can lower the cost of operation and risks. For instance, one of the leading causes of absenteeism and inconsistent performance is incapacitating stress or some other mental illness. If the company fails to keep up with the expected pace of workflow and productivity, the management has to hire additional staff members or parttime substitutes to fill the gap.
Another common issue is presenteeism, where even though the employees show up at work, they are too distracted or mentally fogged to achieve optimal productivity. A business’s overall growth and success depend on the performance of its employees, and it is, therefore, important that the company invests in mental health awareness and intervention.
Treat Mental Issues to Lower the Impact
It is an employer’s responsibility to provide their workforce with all the necessary resources that are easily accessible so that they can receive help and lower the impact. The management authorities of the organization should invest in mental health initiatives, benefit plans, wellness counseling, or integration of all of these different approaches to assist the employees affected by mental illness.
Coping with a mental illness can be extremely daunting, and the affected individuals need optimal support and assistance from the people around them. While it is much easier for us to detect a physical illness and offer our sympathies in the matter, detecting the signs of a mental illness requires awareness and thoughtful vigilance.
Prevention and early intervention are always better than a cure. Therefore, instead of waiting around and sitting on the issues until they get worse, employers should devise a well-articulated mental health awareness plan in advance.