Mental health may not get as much attention as physical safety risks, but everyone should prioritize it. Research shows that people with good mental health perform better at work and are happier overall.
Mental Health in the Workplace
A mental health condition can’t be left at home, unlike a broken leg. A healthy mind is critical to workplace performance and can improve an employee’s quality of life.
Employees suffering from poor mental health are a major liability for companies, costing them billions in lost productivity and additional costs of hiring and training new staff. In addition, people with mental health issues are more likely to be excluded from work or suffer from insecure employment.
This often exacerbates wider psychosocial risks such as unemployment, financial instability, and discrimination based on age, sex, ethnicity, religion, social origin, gender identity, or sexual orientation.
Those who feel their employer prioritizes mental health are less likely to report mental illness symptoms and have higher engagement and job satisfaction.
Educating the Community
Many people don’t understand that caring for mental health is just as important as caring for physical health—unfortunately, this lack of understanding results in many people not seeking treatment when needed. According to Dr. Jason Campbell, educating the community on recognizing signs of a mental health problem can help eliminate this issue.
Educating people on the different treatment options available for mental health conditions is also essential. This will allow them to find the best option for their individual needs. For example, some people may benefit from medication, while others may find better results with psychotherapy.
Schools can play an essential role in this process by creating environments that encouraging open conversations about mental health and providing clear referral resources for outside mental health services. This will help alleviate some of the stigma associated with these issues and ensure that all students get the help they need.
Preventing Mental Illness
Mental health is important for overall well-being, and prioritizing it can help prevent mental illness. One way to do this is by addressing mental health in the workplace. While this is only sometimes as common as focusing on workplace safety, it should be just as important.
Unlike physical illnesses with a clear biological etiology, preventing mental disorders is harder. Nonetheless, some steps can be taken to reduce the risk of mental illness, including promoting positive mental health, identifying mental health needs, and providing timely treatment.
Practices should take a proactive approach across the life course by familiarizing staff with mental health risks and resilience factors at each stage of life. This will help to raise awareness of mental health issues and inform the development of appropriate preventive interventions.
Taking Care of Yourself
It’s important to remember that mental health problems affect everyone. It is often difficult to identify, and the impact can be even more challenging to understand and manage. This makes it essential to educate yourself about the common signs of mental illness to recognize when someone might need professional help.
It is also important to prioritize your mental wellness. This may include setting aside time to do things you enjoy and focusing on relationships that bring you joy. Sleeping well and avoiding things that can negatively impact your mental health, like watching violent movies or reading upsetting news, is also essential.