Mental health in the workplace has become an increasingly popular topic as of late.
As adults, we spend a substantial portion of our lives at our place of employment. It makes sense that these places should add value to our lives rather than decrease it. However, 80% of employees agree that work-related stress affects their relationships with friends, family, and co-workers. A recently released workforce survey includes statistics that employees are increasingly emphasizing the importance of workplaces that prioritize mental health. Based on the number of hours that people spend at work, this makes a lot of sense and is something that company owners and management would do well to pay attention to. If you are in one of these positions, here are three things that you can do to begin increasing wellness in the workplace.
- Understand exactly what mental health is. Often carrying a negative connotation, mental health means the health of our mental state. This exists across the spectrum and is not inherently a negative term. Everybody has mental health existing from illness to wellness, and many factors in our everyday life, including our workforce environment, contribute to where we are on that spectrum. As a result, employers can increase employee mental wellness by ensuring that the jobsite has a firm understanding of what mental health is and what it encompasses.
- Create an environment of openness around mental health. Research indicates that when workplaces support a positive, ongoing conversation around mental health, employees are more productive, feel more secure in the workplace, and positively contribute to the company’ overall mission. For company owners and employers, this equates to a stronger bottom line due to lower employee turnover. While this step may seem daunting for employers, there are resources available to help begin facilitating this conversation.
- Be purposeful about proactive mental wellness training. This piece is crucial. Mental health conversations are not going anywhere, and I believe employers will continue to lose valuable employees if they do not prioritize training around mental wellness in the workplace. While doing so may seem overwhelming, fear of this topic should not be an excuse to avoid integrating this important piece into ongoing training in the workplace.
If you are interested in developing strong mental health conversations or have questions about how to start them, I encourage you to reach out. You can find out more information here.
Stay well friends.
Rachel Sullivan, LMFT, CFLE-P
Solid Ground Counseling Center