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2020 is a good year for open dialogue surrounding mental health and how it affects us in the place we spend most of our time- the workplace. For many of us, stress levels are at an all time high right now.
As of 2016, around 44 million people over the age of 18 report cases of mental health troubles. This number represents an almost 10% increase over the previous year. Many more show physical signs of stress like anxiety, being overwhelmed and headaches. These can all trigger other problems that take a toll on our bodies. Some of which include respiratory problems, heart disease, diabetes.
Combine this with the fears and anxieties associated with the Corona virus and we have the potential of another pandemic in the workplace. Wise business owners look at post-pandemic changes that will affect their business.
When we don’t feel our best, our performance and productivity is lowered. This may cause us to feel depressed and make finishing tasks that much harder. Dealing with any form of mental health issue can cause our communication skills with our coworkers to wither away. These negative things can create a spiral that is hard to come back from. So what can we do to combat such a big problem?
Your employer can do more than they or you may think possible. Having identified programs for starting and maintaining a healthy lifestyle goes a long way. We all like to be a part of something that can give us something in return. Below are a few tried and successful tips that some businesses have used:
Being fully involved shows your employees that you care about them and makes them better at their job. The CDC offers a WorkplaceHealth Resource Center(WHRC) tools and guides that allow you as an employer to evaluate current mental health programs, or to develop new ones that are more sustainable for your particular workforce.
Now it’s your turn as an employee to do some work. Talk with your bosses openly about programs that you would like to see implemented in the company. If you don’t speak up, who will. Participate in any programs that are currently available. Become an advocate for mental health in your workplace. If counseling is available to you, use it as much as needed. No one should be embarrassed to ask for help. Research programs and talk with your coworkers to see what is a best fit for your environment. Every office is different. Do not be afraid to share your own experiences in dealing with mental health struggles. This may really help someone else to know that they are not alone in dealing with this type of struggle. Most important is working on having and keeping a positive attitude. Take time each day to think about what you are happy about or greatful for.
These small steps you take can create a big impact over time. Facing these facts today will help prepare your business for the future.