How Employees and Companies Can Prioritize Mental Health
May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and while we often address mental health in our personal lives, it’s a less common topic in the workplace. Since the onset of COVID, the expectation for companies to address mental health has increased. According to WorkRamp, mental health issues like stress and anxiety are at an all-time high in the workplace. In fact, 50% of full-time U.S. workers have left a role due in part to mental health reasons. Some ways that companies can address mental health in the workplace include:
- Create a positive culture: According to a Glassdoor survey, 56% of workers said a good workplace culture was more important than salary for job satisfaction. Two attributes of a positive culture include promoting open communication and reducing the stigma surrounding mental health.
- Provide mental health resources: Mental Health in America: A 2022 Workplace Report notes that nearly 78% of organizations currently offer or plan to offer mental health resources in the next year. This can include benefits such as counseling services, therapy sessions, or access to mental health apps. Providing mental health resources can improve employee well-being, productivity, and job satisfaction, and help prevent issues from escalating.
- Offer flexible work arrangements: Over the past three years, flexible work arrangements have become more and more common, and are often on the “must-have” list for employees when looking for a new job. According to FlexJobs, to remain competitive, companies can offer options such as flexible scheduling, remote work opportunities, and paid mental health days. Work options like these can help employees manage work and personal responsibilities, which may reduce stress and prevent burnout, and can be particularly helpful for those with anxiety or depression.
For employees, it’s important to remember to take care of yourself during busy or stressful times at work. Make sure you are getting enough sleep, eating nutritious food, and staying hydrated. It can also help to engage in activities outside of work that bring you joy, such as reading, taking a class, or spending time with friends and family.
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