Workplace stress involves more than just deadlines and rivalries; it can have dire consequences.
Today, Oct. 10, is World Mental Health Day.
This year’s theme, mental health in the workplace, is especially relevant to health care communicators seeking to cultivate an environment where workers can do their best without struggling with anxiety, depression and other disorders, as well as addictions.
As the World Health Organization points out on its website:
During our adult lives, a large proportion of our time is spent at work. Our experience in the workplace is one of the factors determining our overall wellbeing. Employers and managers who put in place workplace initiatives to promote mental health and to support employees who have mental disorders see gains not only in the health of their employees but also in their productivity at work. A negative working environment, on the other hand, may lead to physical and mental health problems, harmful use of substances or alcohol, absenteeism and lost productivity.
A WHO study reported on the Fortune magazine website notes the following:
- One in five (or 43.8 million) adults experience mental illness in a given year.
- One in 25 (or 10 million) adults experience a serious mental illness.
- One in 100 (or 2.4 million) live with schizophrenia.
- About 2.5 percent (or 6.1 million) of Americans have bipolar disorder.
- Nearly 7 percent (or 16 million) suffer from severe depression.
- About 18 percent (or 42 million) live with an anxiety disorder.
- Nine in 10 people who die by suicide have an underlying mental illness.
— Inclusive Networks (@incnetworks) October 10, 2017
The Irish Journal of Psychological Medicine shared this infographic dispelling myths about mental illness:
— IJPM (@IrishJournPsych) October 10, 2017
The Sacramento Bee’s Mental Health Bee advises:
— Mental Health Bee 🐝 (@mentalhealthbee) October 10, 2017
The World Federation for Mental Health asks website visitors to sign its 2017 pledge:
Commit your team to do your best at being proactive in promoting:
- Appreciation of employees and workers
- Creating of a supportive environment
- Identification of early signs of burnout
- Creating an organizational culture which reflects value systems and beliefs
- Stress management
- Building awareness and reducing stigma
- Mental health wellness and providing support for employees who need it
Healthspan tweeted this video on steps that people can take to look after their mental health:
— Healthspan® (@Healthspan) October 10, 2017
What’s your organization doing to support mental health in the workplace? Please let us know in the comments section.