Mental Health Problems at Work
Mental health problems can affect all areas of a person’s life, including their work performance. In many cases, the work environment can make mental problems worse. But work can also be a source of reducing stress, with the proper environment and support.
Many adults in the workforce have experienced mental health problems. These problems can impact an employee’s work performance and business. A lot of employers rely on workplace wellness programs that identify and assist workers who are having problems. These steps help improve mental health.
In this article, we’re going to discuss common mental health problems at work. We’ll also talk about methods of dealing with these issues.
What is Mental Health?
A person’s mental health includes psychological, emotional, and social wellbeing. It’s a state of mind that can affect all areas of your life, and that can manifest into physical symptoms.
Poor mental health often ties into mental illnesses such as depression, stress, PTSD, anxiety, and bipolar disorders.
When a person has a mental illness, they may struggle with positive mental health. They may lose sleep and their appetite at home, have reduced energy for activities, and isolate away from family and friends.
Mental Health Problems at Work
Your work wellbeing can also suffer when there is a mental health problem. People with troubled mental health may call into work, not show up or come in late, and have poor job performance. They may get overwhelmed and have difficulties getting along with coworkers.
More than 45% of Australians deal with a mental illness during their lifetime. And, one out of every six working adults has a mental illness. Compensation claims for stress-related issues cost more than $10 billion a year.
In America, this number grows to one of five adults over the age of 18. That’s 18.3% of the population or roughly 44.7 million adults. 71% of adults also experience symptoms of stress without having a diagnosis of the condition. Symptoms include anxiety, being overwhelmed, and headaches.
There are multiple issues that can occur due to mental health problems at work. Let’s take a look at some of the most common problems that can happen.
Dealing with mental health problems can cause reduced productivity for many employees. They may struggle with their workloads, turn in work late, or not finish their work completely.
In Australia, workers lose 3.2 days a year due to stress in the workplace. When people with mental health problems experience stress at work, it can cause their condition to worsen. Globally, the economy loses $1 trillion (USD) a year due to lost productivity.
Weakened job performance
When employees have mental health problems, they often have less energy. They may be sluggish and slow, resulting in getting behind on work.
Issues like depression and anxiety can make the body feel heavy and limp. It disrupts cognitive thought processes and can make it difficult to stay organized or remember things.
Reduced communications with coworkers
Mental health problems can manifest physically, such as lack of energy and reduced talking. Many people dealing with mental health problems withdraw into themselves.
A normally talkative coworker may suddenly communicate with nods and one word responses. They may avoid chatting with colleagues and stay silent during group meetings.
Problems with Attendance
Another frequent issue with people who have mental health problems is problems with their attendance. Many employees take off work to deal with their emotional issues.
Other employees may show up late and leave early. And when they’re at work, they’re not completely present with what’s going on around them. They seem a million miles away.
How to Improve Mental Health in the Workplace
Companies that make the company changes to reduce stress and unfavorable conditions in the workplace do not lose as much money annually due to wasted productivity.
Ways that businesses and coworkers can improve mental health around the workplace include:
- Open communications
- Offer clinical screenings for depression by a professional
- Use seminars or workshops providing stress management tips
- Have dedicated quiet spaces
- Allow time for walks
- Encourage managers and leaders to take a mental health first aid course
- Provide materials addressing poor mental health and treatment opportunities
Mental health should be an essential factor to consider in the workplace. When employees suffer from mental health issues, it can affect work productivity and cause the company to lose money. Making changes to your company can help reduce mental health problems at work.