How to Support Mental Health in the Workplace?
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It is essential to normalize conversations about mental health in the workplace. The stigma associated with such discussions in a professional setting has reduced, but it is nowhere close to being eliminated. The lines between work and personal life keep blurring constantly. This further increases the need to focus on mental health in the workplace.
How Mental Health Issues Affect Employees and Workplace?
Mental health issues harm the daily functioning of the employees and the organization’s overall productivity. A 2011 study showed depression interferes with an employee’s ability to complete tasks in terms of physical and cognitive performance.
- Poor mental health and stress reduce the productivity and job performance of employees.
- Mental health is directly proportional to the level of job engagement.
- It adversely affects communication with other co-workers, within the team, and the organization in general.
- It interferes with the employee’s ability to ensure they are performing to the best of their physical capabilities.
How to Promote the Importance of Mental Health in the Workplace?
A culture that prioritizes mental health and normalizes issues associated with it creates an optimal workplace environment. Employers and organizations play a vital role in promoting the importance of mental health in the workplace.
- Give employees access to mental health self-assessment tools.
- Distribute educational materials in the form of fliers, brochures, and videos about identifying poor mental health and steps for treatment or obtaining the needed help.
- Conduct seminars and workshops addressing depression, the importance of mental health, and stress management to reduce stress and anxiety while improving mood and concentration.
- Create and maintain specific relaxation zones or quiet spaces.
- Train managers and those higher up in the organizational hierarchy to recognize the symptoms of poor mental health among team members and encourage them to get the help needed.
- Conduct anonymous surveys to learn the attitude of employees toward management in general to make the required changes.
- Get resources for assessing risk, obtain the needed information on health conditions, and get the required support or help in multiple formats.
- Start normalizing discussions about workforce mental health and wellbeing to create an open workspace where everyone feels included.
Additional Mental Health Resources and Measures
The above-mentioned suggestions are a starting point to create awareness about mental health and its importance in the workplace. Organizations and corporations can suggest strategies and coping techniques. Here are some additional mental health resources corporates can share with their employees for promoting mental health in the workplace.
- National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS): It has started free psychosocial support and mental health services for those dealing with stress, anxiety, fear or emotional discomfort. Call: 080-46110007
- Sumaitri- A crisis intervention centre for Depressed and Suicidal: It is a crisis intervention centre for anyone in need of telephonic counselling. Call: 011-23389090
- Mpower 1 on 1: This is a collaborative initiative by Maharashtra Government and the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) and is a toll-free mental health helpline. Call: 1800-1208-20050
- Fortis Stress Helpline: It offers mental health support 24×7 in over 15 languages. Call: 08376804102
- Arpan: They offer a free helpline for anyone in need of mental health support. Call: 09819086444
- AASRA: They have active listening services 24×7 and offer phone counselling. Call: 09820466726
- Lifeline Foundation: It is a dedicated service for anyone needing psychosocial support to deal with grief or mental illness. Call: 033-40447437