October 10, 2017 is World Mental Health Day. This year’s focus is Mental Health in the workplace. Take a look at the importance of educating the world on mental health in the workplace below.
- 300 million people suffer from depression
- 260 million people suffer from anxiety
- $1 trillion in lost productivity, globally
Why does mental health in the workplace matter?
Individuals experiencing a mental health problem do not simply leave their depression, anxiety, [insert disorder], etc. at the door when they come to work. As you can see in the world-wide statistics above, there is an economic impact of mental health in the workplace. Supporting employees and co-workers with mental health problems will lead to better productivity and a healthier work environment for all. Overall working is great for mental health, but a negative work culture can do just the opposite.
Risk Factors to mental health:
- inadequate health and safety policies;
- poor communication and management practices;
- limited participation in decision-making or low control over one’s area of work;
- low levels of support for employees;
- inflexible working hours; and
- unclear tasks or organizational objectives.
The good news is that there are steps employers and employees can take to help support mental health!
World Economic Forum produced a guide to help companies evaluate their work culture and make necessary adjustments. Some of the insight they offer includes:
- Awareness of the workplace environment and how it can be adapted to promote better mental health for different employees.
- Learning from the motivations of organizational leaders and employees who have taken action.
- Not reinventing wheels by being aware of what other companies who have taken action have done.
- Understanding the opportunities and needs of individual employees, in helping to develop better policies for workplace mental health.
- Awareness of sources of support and where people can find help.