Mental Health Problems at Work
Mental health problems affect all areas of a person’s life – including, unfortunately, their work performance. The work environment could make mental problems worse – but your work environment can also be a source of reducing stress, with the proper environment and support.
Many adults in the workforce have or will experience a mental health problem. These problems could impact an employee’s work performance and their function within the business. Employers often rely on workplace wellness programs that identify and assist workers who are experiencing mental health problems. These steps help improve mental health. In this article, we’re going to discuss common mental health problems at work, and 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 their family and friends.
Mental Health Problems at Work
Your work wellbeing could also suffer. People with troubled mental health may constantly call sick into work, not show up, come in late, and even display poor performance in their work. They may even get overwhelmed and have difficulties getting along with their co-workers or management.
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.
Let’s look at some of the most common mental health problems that could happen:
1. Poor productivity – Dealing with mental health problems causes reduced productivity.
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.
2. 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. These mental health problems can disrupt cognitive thought processes, making it difficult to stay organized or remember things. Consequently, they could experience serious delays and scheduling issues with their workload and could hurt their job performance.
3. Reduced communication – Mental health problems manifest physically as well as mentally, such as lack of energy and reduced talking. Many people dealing with mental health problems withdraw into themselves.
Picture this – there’s this one, normally talkative co-worker of yours – but lately, they’ve started communicating with nods and one-word responses. They avoid chatting with colleagues and stay silent during group meetings. Might this co-worker be experiencing a mental health problem?
4. Problems with Attendance – Another frequent issue is problems with their attendance. Many employees take off work to deal with their emotional issues.
Other employees may show up late or leave early. When they’re at work, they’re not completely present with what’s going on around them. They seem a million miles away. They may take longer lunchtimes, or frequently need more breaks than usual away without telling anyone.
Here at The Mental Health Coach, we offer Mental Health Training for Workplaces. Our coaching helps companies take steps forward towards creating a mentally healthy working environment for employers to employees, where everyone can openly feel supported and encouraged in dealing with mental health problems!
How to Improve Mental Health in the Workplace
Companies that make changes in their workplace to reduce stress and eliminating unfavourable conditions in the workplace don’t lose as much money annually as you’d think from wasted productivity. Ways that businesses and co-workers could improve mental health around the workplace can include:
- Open communications
- Offer clinical screenings for depression by a professional
- Use seminars or workshops providing stress management tips.
- Have dedicated quiet spaces or “chillout zones”.
- Allow time for walks, encouraging workplaces to implement ergonomic exercises, encouraging work-friendly music.
- Encouraging managers and leaders to take a mental health first aid course.
- Provide accessible materials for employees, addressing poor mental health and treatment opportunities and encouraging your workers to access these resources, whether out loud or discreetly.
Mental health is an essential factor to consider in any workplace. Employees suffering from mental health issues can affect work productivity and cause the company to lose money. Making important changes to your company to improve through using our suggested steps can help reduce the number of people experiencing mental health problems at work.