Mental disorders continue to be on the rise as daily lives become more and more hectic and impersonal. For human beings, such a lifestyle is not sustainable for long periods of time, and sooner or later, it takes its toll, both physically and mentally. As an employer, it is vital to ensure that employees are mentally well and able to efficiently perform their tasks and responsibilities at hand. If emotional health is not looked after, it can affect productivity and, ultimately, hurt the business.
Recent years have seen a volatile economy and job market. As a result, employees have become very anxious and concerned about their job stability. Add stressful project deadlines, problems with managers and numerous other demands, and you have a recipe for depression, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder, schizophrenia, and/or bipolar disorder.
It’s Often Hidden
Unfortunately, unlike a physical illness, such as a cold or the flu, people are more reluctant to speak out about any mental issues they may be battling. As common as mental ailments are, there is still a social stigma surrounding such illnesses. This is why it is important for employers to create a work environment that encourages people to openly voice any challenges they are facing.
It Can Become Physical
If not addressed and properly treated, mental problems can eventually lead to physical ailments, such as stomach pain, headaches and even chest pain. The stress stemming from mental issues can also lead to high blood pressure and heart disease as well as changes in appetite. When paired with physical diseases, mental diseases can result in skyrocketing healthcare costs and absenteeism, which can take a huge toll on your business.
Ways to Make It Easier
As you begin to prioritize mental health, you can turn your work environment into an invaluable source of mental health management. Your work should include activities that encourage employees to relax emotionally. Offer classes in meditation. Encourage communication about emotional and mental health. Establish social support networks and an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) that provides confidential counseling, referrals and many other sources for mental and emotional well-being. There are countless ways you can foster a mentally healthy atmosphere in your workplace.
As you start to create a positive and mentally healthy work environment, your employees will come to work because they want to, not because they have to. They will naturally desire to contribute more to the business and to those around them. While taking such measures may initially cost you in the short term, the long-term benefits are nearly endless, leading to a win-win situation for everyone involved.
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