How to Create a Mentally Healthy Workplace

Written by Emily Liu

On June 15, 2020

Mental health affects every aspect of people’s daily lives, including work life. Employees’ health and happiness are the backbones of the company. Helping employees improve their mental condition improves an individual’s well-being and maintains the health of the entire company. A mentally healthy workplace causes higher productivity and efficiency. However, a lousy work environment harms employees’ morale, and companies can suffer financial costs when dealing with mental illness. Here we’d like to provide some strategies that business owners can use to help employees improve their emotional situation and maintain their mental health.
 

Create a Trusting Environment

 
Mental health is a topic hard to talk about in the workplace. Employees may not mention it with colleagues or bosses. They may be worried about damaging relationships with coworkers, being isolated by other employees, or even losing their job. One crucial thing employers can do to solve this problem is reducing the stigma associated with mental illness in the workplace. Business owners can mention mental health, stress management, or work-life balance in meetings or email communications. It’s critical to let them know that they won’t be judged with prejudice when they are struggling with depression. Talking about mental health openly helps to reduce the stigma, which encourages employees to seek help when they are struggling with mental illness.
 

Provide Tools and Resources

 
Different people may have different types of mental problems. Therefore, employers can’t become mental health professionals and solve the problem for each employee. It is an excellent idea to provide resources to allow employees self identify and teach them how to support colleagues with mental health issues. Some tools help to recognize the signs and symptoms. For example, Mental Health America offers free screening tools to let employees anonymously assess their risk factors. Business owners can also organize employees to participate in some mental health-related events. The organization Families for Depression Awareness provides workshops for employees to teach them how to cope with stress and depression.
 

Motivate Physical Wellness

 
When taking care of employees’ mental health, business owners provide many counseling services or stress management training. However, they often overlook the employees’ physical health. People’s physical health can affect their mental health—the physical symptoms influence what they think and how they feel. Employers should inspire physical movements. They can encourage employees to cycle to work, take a walk during break time, or participate in gym classes. Companies can host fitness challenges, which benefit physical health and foster teamwork. Only when employees are physically healthy will they be able to take good care of themselves and reduce the chances of mental problems.

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