Oftentimes, employees are reluctant to disclose about their mental health issues to their managers or employers, which can add fuel to the fire. The escalation in poor mental health has become one of the biggest issues in the workplace today. This includes the most commonly experienced symptoms of stress and anxiety, to more complex conditions like depression, bipolar disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), etc. Such life-disruptive conditions lead to other major problems like loss of productivity, diminished motivation, increased absenteeism and so forth.
A mental illness is often triggered by genetic, social and other environmental factors, such as low-quality life, economic hardship, exposure to toxins, child abuse, etc. Being a debilitating disorder, it is important for any organization to understand and recognize employees’ mental condition. Moreover, it is the obligation of the organization to support them in alleviating their problems.
Organizations should implement distinct strategies and specific policies to ensure proper treatment and support to employees’ experiencing such issues. Instead of discriminating or stigmatizing such employees, organizations should work toward ensuring the well-being of its staff and appreciate employees’ engagement.
Causes leading to mental distress in workplace
Given the rapid rise in mental disorders, employers need to accept the fact that employees need to pay attention on both mental and physical health. Both the aspects of health are liable to worsen due to the factors both inside and outside the office.
Some of the common factors, such as long working hours with no breaks, unrealistic deadlines, extreme pressure and poor working environments, etc., impact the mental and emotional well-being of employees. Additionally, other problems, pertaining to light, noise, space and temperature can surge negative feelings.
The lack of control over work, unmanageable workload, negative relationships leading to poor communication and solitary working are some of the major triggers of distress in workplace that can transform into debilitating issues like depression, anxiety disorders, substance abuse and even suicide.
Unfortunately, some senior leaders and coworkers who still follow certain prejudices with regard to mental health issues due to the lack of awareness about mental issues. Such unhealthy attitudes can spring more damages and elicit worry and uneasiness, further deteriorating the work culture. Therefore, it is imperative for managers and senior leaders to acknowledge the prevalence of mental health issues among employees, and promote more open and supportive culture. Moreover, it is necessary to support employees in the workplace, by providing access to employee assistance schemes, opening up a conversation, providing support to overcome barriers to return to the workplace, etc.
Supporting employees suffering from mental disorder
Overall, it is quite stressful to handle mental distress. Given the increased burden due to the prejudice and stigma attached to mental illness, most people prefer struggling in silence than breaking their shells. Therefore, managers should routinely discuss with their coworkers about their mental health conditions. This can help in building confidence in employees to speak up about their anguish. Some of the basic guidelines that managers can follow are as follows:
- Choose an appropriate place, possibly outside of the workplace, where the person feels comfortable to speak up about his or her turmoil.
- Develop an action plan to work with the person suffering from a mental disorder to keep a check on the warning signs, triggers for stress, the possible impact on their work, etc.
- Make effective adjustments like flexible working hours, change of workspace (quieter or less busy space), options to work from home, provision of quiet rooms, etc. should be provided to such employees. Other measures include relaxing absence rules, return-to-work policies (phased return), agreement to give an employee leave at short notice and time off for appointments related to one’smental health, such as therapy and counseling.
Organizations should encourage managers to work together with their teammates and other staff members to develop a personal action plan to proactively engage and manage their mental conditions.
Despite all challenges, these conditions can be treated with adequate intervention programs. Depending on the severity of the symptoms, the treatment approaches may include medication and psychotherapies, such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT).
For any information regarding mental health and the best health specialists, contact the Texas Mental Health Recovery Helpline. Call at our 24/7 helpline 866-596-4708 to be connected to one of the best mental health disorders treatment in Texas or chat with a representative to know more about any specific mental health treatment program in Texas.