The Importance of Promoting Mental Health at Work

by Aug 30, 2023

It is important to prioritize mental health not just in our personal lives, but also in our professional lives. Work can be a significant source of stress and anxiety for many individuals, and promoting mental health in the workplace can have multiple benefits. In this blog, we’ll explore the reasons why promoting mental health at work should be a priority and ways employers and employees can work together to achieve this.

 

Why Promoting Mental Health at Work Matters:

Promoting mental health at work is important for several reasons. One of the reasons is that mental health issues can negatively impact work performance. People who are experiencing mental health issues may have difficulty concentrating, be more irritable or hypersensitive, or have trouble making decisions, which can, in turn, affect their productivity. Furthermore, ignoring mental health concerns can create bigger problems, leading to long-term absences, high staff turnover, and rising healthcare costs.

Another reason why promoting mental health at work matters is that it can help to reduce stigma surrounding mental health issues. Historically, mental health concerns have been stigmatized, undertreated, and even ignored in workplace culture. When employers prioritize mental health, it sends a message that talking about mental health is normal and that everyone needs support. This helps to promote a culture of transparency and vulnerability, which can be beneficial to everyone.

 

Ways to Promote Mental Health at Work:

There are a few strategies employers can use to promote mental health at work. First, it can be helpful to implement workplace wellness programs that focus on mental health. This might look like offering workshops or classes on mindfulness or relaxation techniques, providing counseling services or mental health days off, or even incorporating fitness and wellness programs into the workplace.

Another way to promote mental health at work is to encourage open and honest communication around mental health issues. Employers can cultivate a culture where employees feel comfortable discussing their mental health with others, seeking out support, and asking for help when needed. Additionally, providing resources like mental health information handbooks or websites is a simple yet effective way to promote mental health awareness.

 

Employee Responsibilities in Promoting Mental Health at Work:

While employers play a significant role in promoting mental health at work, employees also have the responsibility to prioritize their own mental health. Employees can do this in several ways, such as by taking breaks throughout the day, engaging in physical activity, and setting realistic goals. Additionally, employees should also communicate any mental health concerns with their employer or HR team, so they can provide support and resources that may be useful.

 

Promoting Mental Health Remotely:

With many companies implementing remote work practices due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s essential to promote mental health in this new work environment. Some strategies that work remotely include creating clear boundaries between work life and personal life, taking regular breaks, and ensuring social connections with colleagues, even if it is only virtual. Employers can also leverage technology to provide remote counseling services to their staff.

Promoting mental health at work is essential for creating a safe, healthy culture in the workplace. By prioritizing mental health, employers can increase productivity, reduce healthcare costs, and create more open, accepting cultures, which can lead to better work-life balance and life satisfaction for employees. Everyone has a role to play in promoting mental health in the workplace, from employers and HR teams to individual employees themselves. By taking the time to prioritize mental health, we can create more fulfilling, supportive workplaces conducive to positive mental health.

 

Written by: Cleo Tubon

Civility is the platform for organizational success—it is absolutely necessary for an organization to reach its goals. Download our Ebook on Seeking Civility to learn more on how to create a workplace free of bullying and abusive conduct.

 

About Catherine Mattice

Catherine Mattice, MA, SPHR, SHRM-SCP is President of consulting and training firm, Civility Partners, and has been successfully providing programs in workplace bullying and building positive workplaces since 2007. Her clients include Fortune 500’s, the military, several universities and hospitals, government agencies, small businesses and nonprofits. She has published in a variety of trade magazines and has appeared several times on NPR, FOX, NBC, and ABC as an expert, as well as in USA Today, Inc Magazine, Huffington Post, Entrepreneur Magazine, and more. Catherine is Past-President of the Association for Talent Development (ATD), San Diego Chapter and teaches at National University. In his book foreword, Ken Blanchard called her book, BACK OFF! Your Kick-Ass Guide to Ending Bullying at Work, “the most comprehensive and valuable handbook on the topic.” She recently released a second book entitled, SEEKING CIVILITY: How Leaders, Managers and HR Can Create a Workplace Free of Bullying.

3 Reasons Your Hiring Process is Too Lengthy and How to Fix it

Hiring the right person is essential, but a drawn-out hiring process can harm your organization more than you might realize. Missed opportunities, decreased productivity, and losing top candidates to competitors are just a few of the costly consequences. While being...

5 Skills Your Managers Need (But Probably Don’t Have) to Effectively Interview Job Applicants

Did you know that 76% of hiring managers admit that attracting the right job candidates is their greatest challenge? Why? Because many managers lack key skills needed for effective interviewing. Culture matters to employees, but it’s just as crucial for hiring. Keep...

Concerned about discussions of opposing political views at work?

Election season is here, bringing with it a flood of discussions, debates, and distractions. Add global tensions dominating the news, and it's easy to see why employees might struggle to stay focused… especially if they have opposing views from their colleagues… and...

3 Savvy Ways to Spend Your Budget Surplus

It’s halfway through the year, and for some companies, the fiscal year is wrapping up, leaving them with an unexpected budget surplus.  While it might be tempting to funnel these extra funds into new equipment or throw after-hours parties, there's a more strategic...

Implicit Bias Training That Works

A significant barrier to achieving a diverse and inclusive workforce is implicit bias. Implicit bias occurs when, for instance, you hear the word "engineer" and immediately assume it is a man, or hear "teacher" and assume it is a woman. Have you ever been guilty of...

Over 50% of Workers Now Value Balance and Belonging Over Climbing the Corporate Ladder

Yesterday, I came across research by Randstad and it really got me thinking about how much the workplace landscape is changing. This study included insights from 27,000 workers worldwide and what really caught my attention was that nearly half of the respondents—47%,...

Your Culture Matters as Much as Your Legal Compliance

Legal compliance serves as the bedrock of any organization. While it lays the foundation, a positive workplace culture breathes life into your organization. A strong, supportive culture fosters employee engagement, boosts morale, and enhances productivity.  This...

How We Create Respectful Work Cultures

For the past 15 years, we have been dedicated to transforming toxic workplace cultures and fostering positive environments through executive coaching, corporate training, and large-scale culture change projects. We’ve serviced over 250 clients and their thousands of...

42% of employees would QUIT over political disagreements

Is it appropriate to restrict employees from expressing their political views at work? On the one hand, you want people to feel free to express themselves. But then, you don't want those water cooler chats to turn into full-blown political showdowns. According to a...

Why Retaining Top Talent is More Difficult Than Ever

Finding and keeping great employees can be tough for companies all over. With changes in employee expectations, advancements in technology, and shifts in the job market, it's a real challenge. In 2019, a whopping 42 million U.S. workers alone said "so long" to their...