Strategies to Promote Mental Health at Workplace: Part 1

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Stress has become a more common problem in the workplace. If let unsolved, the problem may have adverse effects upon the organization’s performance in the long run. In the end, work-related stress will negatively affect mental health at workplace. The mental health influences how the employees feel, think, and act. Therefore, the leaders must be able to identify the problem as early as possible and find ways to improve the problems before they get worse.

Why Mental Health at workplace Needs to Be Improved

October 10 is the World Mental Health Day, since it was first observed in 1992. Unfortunately, the progress related to awareness on the importance of mental health for productivity has been modest, if not, slow. There is still stigma about these concerns. Therefore, this is a great time to discuss topics related to mental health at workplace.

The question is “Why do mental health problems in the workplace need immediate solution?” A recent report rom Mental Health in the Workplace Summit this year show that mental health has tremendous effects on the organizational performance. Here are some related data:

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  • Mental illness is the main cause of disability in adults
  • Mental illness is responsible for more days of absenteeism, compared to injury or other illness;
  • On average, only 43% of US adults that experience mental illness receive treatment in a given year;
  • Mental illness imposes tremendous costs upon the global economy. The costs come in the form of lost productivity and other forms.

Given the tremendous effects, the leadership and HR must provide a system to deal with problems related to mental health at workplace. For instance, the employees must know how to access support, services, and care when they experience mental illness.

Strategies to Promote Mental Health at Workplace: Autonomy

If the manager and HR have a shared objective to improve the overall organization health, they must design a system to deal the problem. Some strategies to improve mental health in the workplace include fostering sense of autonomy. Why is this important?

A common problem that leads to increasing risk of mental illness in the workplace is the feeling of powerlessness among the employees. When the employees feel that the locus of control is beyond their reach, they think that life happens as what others want. They are passive bystanders as they cannot do anything to make their life better. On the other hand, when they feel that they have some extent of control, they are responsible with what they are doing.

Therefore, fostering a sense of autonomy is essential in improving mental health in the workplace. This should be a goal for any business leaders. When the employees are given autonomy, they realize their meaning and contribution for decision-making process and the organization as a whole. This way, they have more rooms to study and exercise their creativity and analytical capability. Empowered employees are more productive and loyal for the company. In the end, this will foster the development of a culture of autonomy.

Of course, there are some other strategies to improve mental health at workplace. Make sure to check them out in the next post!

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