Mental Health Matters: Here’s Why
As we elevate Mental Health Awareness during the month of May, we start to think more consciously about how we are treating our mind, body, and spirit. As leaders, it’s our duty to focus on ourselves as well as those we lead.
As we all know, the workplace continues to play a big role in employees’ mental health. The office setting and overall atmosphere can either build mental strength to inspire your employees or can take a serious toll on them and their overall well-being. In a recent Inc. article, author and writer Amy Morin explains why employers should care about mental health and how to turn Mental Health Awareness Month into an opportunity.
According to the article, “nearly 1 in 5 people experience a diagnosable mental health condition in any given year and many more individuals are at risk.” Most of these individuals, unfortunately, do not seek medical attention. In turn, according to the Center for Prevention and Health Services, an estimated 217 million days of work are lost each year due to issues related to mental illness and substance abuse.
Employers have good intentions in treating their employees – according to a survey in the article, Buck Consultants at Xerox found that “84 percent of employers believe they have a high responsibility to provide a working environment that promotes mental well-being.” But in general, people face major barriers to mental health treatment such as:
- most people fail to recognize warning signs and symptoms of a mental health problem,
- it can be expensive to manage, and
- the “stigma” of mental health conditions as weakness.
However, we as leaders can turn these difficulties into an opportunity to provide for our employees. Not only can we promote positive well-being in the workplace, but we can also individually review our mental health programs to make sure our employees have accessible and safe opportunities to ask for help. In addition, we as a society can normalize the discussion to avoid any stigma around the subject.
I wanted to share this article because mental health is important. As a leader at NAFCU, I am willing to do whatever I can to ensure my colleagues have the opportunity to help their mind, body, and spirit in the most beneficial way possible. Taking the necessary steps to address mental health in the workplace will not only improve company productivity and culture but will improve the lives of our employees – our number one asset.