In the U.S., mental illness is the prime cause of disability for citizens between 15 and 44 years of age. Mental health problems can affect how you feel, think and act in many different areas of your life.
In particular, it can have a negative impact on your work performance and your interaction with your coworkers. Whether you are an employee or an employer, it is important to address these issues up front.
The best businesses invest in the health and wellbeing of all their employees. In turn, these employees are happier overall, allowing them to focus on their work. Overall, employees are more likely to care about the success of the company they work for if their health and wellbeing are valued. Learn more about the importance of mental health in the workplace below.
There are three major reasons why mental health is an important aspect in the workplace. Firstly, if an employee is struggling due to illness, it will inhibit his or her ability to perform the job as effectively as possible. It can also cause friction to arise between workers if they do not feel comfortable with one another. Efficiency and teamwork both decrease when employees are stressed and dealing with mental health issues.
Mental health in the workplace is also plays a significant role in attendance. One study found that one in five adults in the U.S. experience mental illness every year, and only 43 percent receive treatment. The study further suggests that more work absenteeism is due to mental health problems than any other health issue. With 300 million adults in the world suffering from depression alone, mental illnesses actually cost the global economy $1 trillion in lost productivity every year.
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Not only does you employees’ mental health affect productivity, it can also affect their ability to pursue innovative ideas and take risks. An employee’s mental state can negatively inhibit the ability to trust his or her instincts and zap the energy needed for creative problem solving.
Until recently, the topic of mental illness was often misunderstood and brushed under the carpet. This is largely because there is still a lot of stigma around adults with conditions like depression and general anxiety disorder. However, progressive business leaders must acknowledge mental health issues are a shared concern.
It is best if employees who are suffering from mental health problems get help, for both their personal and professional benefit. Unfortunately, many workers are afraid to admit they have a problem due to the lingering stigmas. Despite mental health awareness growing all the time, many employers still do not display compassion for employees taking time off work due to depression.
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For the sake of the workers affected by mental illness, it is vital that both human resources and company leaders provide the mental support employees require. These illnesses often warrant the same care and cooperation as physical injuries. In addition to encouraging these employees to seek professional care, companies can also employ different supportive strategies around the office, such as the following:
There are other ways employers can help reduce their workers’ mental health issues as well. The more aid extended to employees, the more they will likely be willing to continue working. Consider using the following methods to reduce stress around your office or company:
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