As Mental Health Awareness month reaches its end, we need to find a way to continue this conversation and make the workplace environment a positive and healthy place. Let’s face it, there is stigma surrounding mental health because it can be a tricky topic to discuss at work.
By revealing mental health issues, people fear becoming isolated, viewed as abnormal, and considered unfit for the job. Employers have an important role to play in supporting employees with education about mental health and creating open dialogue. Providing resources that promote awareness can help create an accessible and positive workplace, one that also promotes engagement and attracts talent.
Which means we should be talking about the role organizations can play when it comes to promoting employee wellness and mental health in the workplace. And it’s not just important for the overall health of your employees. It’s important for the overall health of your business. Data from the Center for Workplace Mental Health indicates that employees with depression miss an average of 31.4 workdays each year and lost another 27.9 workdays to unproductivity, costing employers an estimated $44 billion annually.
Earlier this month we shared Part 1 of our Mental Health Awareness series with 10 Ways to Create a Mentally Healthy Workplace. To close the month we'd like to share Part 2 with our thoughts on ways to promote mental health as part of a healthy and positive work environment.
Again, why is this important: 1 in 5 Americans is affected by mental health conditions. Stigma is toxic to their mental health because it creates an environment of shame, fear and silence that prevents many people from seeking help and treatment. The perception of mental illness won’t change unless we act to change it.
Take time now to plan ways to promote mental health at work for the long-term.