Maintaining a good work-life balance is the key to leading a healthy life. It is very easy to go into depression due to the dull routine. Better mental health leads us to achieve our full potential in life. It enables us to work hard for achieving our goals in life. A person who puts effort at work is less likely to become depressed. As work provides us an escape from other stresses in life. Only a person with a sound mind can add to the well-being of themselves and others. However, too much work is also not healthy. We should make time for healthy activities as well.
A Growing Concern
The issue of mental health has become quite concerning. It is estimated that around 260 million to 300 million people in the world are suffering from poor mental health. Some of them are lucky enough to get help and some just lose the battle. As a result, the suicide rate has been on the rise since the start of the 21st century. Much of that rise has been witnessed from 2005 onwards.
Some of the issues of mental health originate from societal issues and some to the economy hence there is an urgent need for resolution of this issue. A study estimates that mental disorders will have an impact of more than $16 trillion in the next 10 years or so. China and India are predicted to suffer the most due to this issue. On the other hand, people have become so depressed in the lives that they are unable to have a stable relationship. Alcoholism, drug abuse, violence, and desocialization are a few of the outcomes of unstable mental health.
While there are many reasons for mental illness, the workplace environment can be a significant factor contributing to it. Heavy workload, lack of facilities, minimum employee satisfaction, scarcity of meaningful health benefits, and bad attitude of management are a few issues that can contribute to deteriorating mental health at the workplace. The mental health of employees can have a lot of impact on the productivity of an organization. Loss of revenue due to absentees and higher medical reimbursements are a couple of monetary impacts of mental health disorders. It is reported that as much as 70 million working days are lost due to untreated mental health in employees.
Shaming Mental Health
Making fun of mental health is a significant reason why issues related to it go unnoticed or rather un-attended. People are less likely to express concerns regarding their mental state. People who have issues are unable to talk about them in public.
This taboo status is more serious in the developing and third world countries. Mental illness is not taken seriously in these regions and oftentimes becomes embedded in a person’s routine. Another reason is that low-income families are unable to afford proper therapies and medication. In such cases, the person suffering from mental health and the people around him have to live with the issue forever.
However, contrary to popular belief, treatment for mental illness is possible without spending a lot of money. It requires will power of the person to get better and for organizations to show commitment to their wellbeing. Many experts believe that spending on treating mental issues gives a good return on investment to organizations. This benefits not only the organization but employees and their families as well.
What should be done?
Employers and employees can both contribute towards society if mental health policies are a part of their business policies. Even one positive step in this direction can bring meaningful results. The World Economic Forum suggests a few steps towards better mental health in the workplace. These and a few other steps can be helpful to both the employers and the employees.
- Clean Environment: A clean workplace encourages employees to be organized and disciplined. It helps in running the operations in a neat manner. Every employee has their own unique taste. Curtains on windows and carpeted rooms resemble the calm and peaceful environment of their home. Work stations and restrooms should be kept clean and tidy. Comfortable sitting arrangements should be arranged. Make sure to hire the right kind of people for maintaining a clean workspace. Carpet Cleaning Services have the kind of people that your workplace might need.
- Instill Confidence With Inclusion: Give more power to your employees by taking their suggestions and then acting on it. This can also be done by making them a part of the decision-making process. Employee welfare teams should be established. Make sure that every employee has access to such teams doesn’t matter what their grade might be. Depression builds up further when employees feel left out important decisions related to them.
- Survey and Sessions: Initiate case studies and surveys to find out the current emotional state of your workforce. Make sure that employees don’t have to show their identity in such an activity. Most employees don’t express their concerns due to the fear of negative reactions. Employers should also arrange in-house personal sessions with mental health professionals. Some people feel more confident talking over the phone than in person. So, having access to a helpline for talking with a professional can also prove beneficial.
- Arrange Activities: Employees should be allowed enough opportunities to take part in healthy activities. There is a lot of focus on lean principles these days. Lean is good but too much lean would result in a lack of necessary physical movement. Allow your employees betterment leave every once in a while. Sometimes a break is what an employee all needs.
Employers have a bigger role to play in ensuring the better mental health of their employees. But employees themselves can take small steps that lead to better mental health in the workplace. Most of the stereotypes are created by people around us. We become afraid of expressing ourselves in public.
It is true that most people take mental health as a serious issue. The same is true for people around us in the workplace. Employees should help out their colleagues in this sense. Eliminating this mark of shame around mental health requires everyone to step in. Help your fellow-workers in getting professional help. Encourage them to openly talk about their issues. Sometimes the people going through mental issues don’t even realize that they need help. Colleagues can help them in overcoming the fear of accepting reality sometimes.