Reports from different research institutes here in the States show that 1 in 5 adults have a mental health issue. America is fast shifting its attitude towards mental problems to reduce the stigma associated with mental illness. It is the responsibility of society, in general, to address all issues around mental health. Businesses can raise awareness and reduce stigma, by implementing programs that prioritize mental health in workplaces.
Causes of mental illnesses
Many issues contribute to mental illness. Many causes of mental illness come from outside work. Issues such as job insecurity can cause a lot of anxiety and raise mental issues. Unrealistic workloads with overworked employees may lead to burnout as people feel stressed about their performance. Employees working for long hours may also develop work-related stressors. If there is a poor company culture, it may also contribute to mental issues as people feel socially disconnected, intimidated, and feel unwanted.
There are different ways businesses can act to support mental health in their workplaces.
Implement employee assistance programs
Employee assistance programs include voluntary benefits programs that help employees address personal and work-related problems that could affect mental health and work performance. Most of these programs offer screening and confidential assessments, referrals, follow-ups, and counseling to all those affected.
Research from various quotas points out how employees think their companies have unrealistic workload expectations. A lot of expectations in work may lead to stress, poor productivity, increased absenteeism as well as mental and behavioral health risks. Frustrations in workplaces may lead employees to engage in unhealthy behaviors such as drinking and violence.
Create a stable and supportive company culture
A supportive company culture presents a great way to deal with mental issues from employees. Any dictatorial form of company culture can leave employees feeling unsupported and with uncertain expectations. A stable culture will provide employees with clear goals, values, and rules. A good way to go about it in establishing good company culture is to train supervisors to enforce and support employees. Employees need to have clear cut goals and feel supported even when things are not going as per expectations.
Small businesses in most times take on the personalities of their founders. However, assuming that employees share different preferences, it can become toxic if their ideas and opinions are not respected. Too many meetings, distractions, and noisy work environments might leave employees exhausted and feeling less inspired.
Organize for events
Businesses should organize events and host seminars and workshops. They should implement company-wide mental health education that would help teams easily identify mental health issues and deal with these issues early even before they get out of hand. They should invite external experts to train staff on how to recognize mental health issues and support one another.
Businesses should always create a safe and productive atmosphere. There are different environmental factors such as lighting, noise levels, and exposure to nature, which can have a big impact on mental issues at work.