Work is good for our mental health (it really is!) but a negative working environment can lead to physical and mental health problems. A recent World Health Organization (WHO) - led study estimates that depression and anxiety disorders cost the global economy US $ 1 trillion each year in lost productivity!
If you’re not sure if mental health problems could be impacting your workforce, look at your team and evaluate the following:
· Productivity numbers; are you seeing a decrease?
· Are you seeing folks with poor focus and decision making?
· Is teamwork being stifled or hindered?
· Burnout – are you seeing physical exhaustion in some of your employees?
· Are healthcare expenses increasing; are you seeing a trend?
· Employer turnover; is there an increase?
· Absenteeism; is there an increase?
And remember, these are not just for your employees, but for you as well!
Now is the time to start evaluating how you as a leader want to advocate mental health support within your workplace. Ensuring open and empathetic communication with your employees where you see them for who they are and want what’s best for them, will go a long way in helping your employees be the best version of themselves.
Here are some great resources to have on hand for your employees:
· SAMHSA – the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration – they provide 24/7 365 treatment and referral information for individuals and facing mental and/or substance use disorders.
· National Institute of Mental Health provides resources including information for the Suicide Prevention Line, Crisis Text Line, and Veterans Crisis Line.
· National Alliance on Mental Illness is the nation's largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to building better lives for the millions of Americans affected by mental illness.
· Anxieties.com – I have used this resource before. It is the largest free anxiety self-help site on the web. Dr. Reid Wilson is the Director of the Anxiety Disorders Treatment Center in Chapel Hill, NC and is an international expert in the treatment of anxiety disorders.