Strategies Employers Can Use To Address Workplace Mental Health

COVID-19 has taken a severe mental health affliction on a lot of U.S. workers. Like many Americans Workers have also suffered the loss of loved ones and relationships to family and friends and the ease of their daily social life.

The pandemic has also brought particular pressures on workers, including the risk of losing their jobs as well as the sudden changes in working at home as well as the added workload. Workers who are on the frontline must be at risk of infecting others and have to deal with increasingly hostile interactions with customers.

In the end, many of these employees particularly such as doctors, nurses and teachers are afflict with an increase in anxiety, depression, and sleep issues. Americans drink a lot of drinking alcohol, eating too much, and are doing lesser physical activities. A third of them are overweight since the beginning of the epidemic.

I study the negative effects of stress on sleep and health. I also witness the effects of stress during my job as a psychotherapist treating firefighters in the area for stress, as well as other issues they face at work as well as in their daily lives.

I’ve observed that employees are more in navigating problems with mental health when their employers have a strategy in place. Based on my own research along with other studies I’m convince that there are five strategies that businesses can adopt.

Creating Clear Policies Health

Due to the higher stress levels that are caused by the epidemic, managers could see more employees experiencing problems with their personal lives or have disruptive behavior that affects their performance at work.

The psychological stress can cause destructive behavior, like screaming at colleagues or throwing objects at them in anger. In the opposite direction employees could be unable to communicate or may avoid working with others. Some employees might express suicidal thoughts on social media, or through various other methods.

Managers could be confused about what to do to handle these kinds of disruptive behavior that can be accidental

Develop An Explicit Workplace Health

The first step for any company is to develop an explicit workplace policy that describes the different kinds of disruptive behavior that indicate an employee isn’t currently competent to perform their task. The policy should address the procedure for temporary release or treatment and evaluation requirements and the conditions that must be followed for returning to work. A policy of this kind gives clarity to both employees and supervisors.

For instance, suicidal or violent thoughts could require immediate intervention and a appointment with an occupational health professional. The doctor can ensure that the employee follows the necessary treatment program prior to returning to work. People who are grieving over an unexpected loss or a an increase in symptoms of a mental illness could benefit from medical leave for family members as well as a short-term job change.

It is important to note that, as per the American with Disabilities Act, employers must make reasonable accommodations for people with mental health conditions without causing an unreasonable hardship for the company.

The most important thing is that managers require guidelines and procedures for how to handle problems with behavior, including specific measures to gauge the severity of the problem and its impact on coworkers and overall performance in the workplace.

Collaboration With Mental Health Professionals

Many people who are affect by the pandemic aren’t suffering from mental health issues that are obvious. They could instead have a disturbance in their lives that has a direct impact on their job.

A good example would take an example of an employee who has to spend much of the time in the office discussing the marital tension that occurred during the home quarantine period, thereby disrupting work productivity.

In this situation an effective mitigation plan for a supervisor or colleague is to refer the employee to a psychiatrist or another support resource for assistance. In these instances it’s beneficial to establish an established relationship with a local service provider in order for employees to be acquaint with the options available.

More than half of all civilian employees are enroll in the employee aid program that provides confidential, free counselling to employees. Larger companies might have internal programs that give the direct the ability to access mental health specialists. Even smaller companies could establish partnerships that provide employees access to counselling on an individual basis.

Prevention Of Illness Through Wellness Programs

Employers can also adopt more of a proactive approach. Workplace wellness programs aid in preventing mental health issues by teaching employees new abilities that help build resilience that can serve as a buffer to the negative impacts of stress.

Programs for workplace wellness that promote mental health typically train the skills to manage stress. The programs that promote positive feelings can also boost productivity.

While these programs could be beneficial and have a positive effect on health, participation by employees is usually low. To boost participation, it’s crucial to involve employees in the selection of the programs they want to implement.

Also, participation increases when managers are supportive of the program. This usually will require training for managers about the program and ways to spread it among employees.

The Fight Against Stigma Associated With Mental Health

Patients suffering from mental illness or struggle with mental illness often have to face significant stigma. People may avoid seeking treatment due to fear over losing work, or being perceive differently.

Employers can combat stigma on a organizational level by discussing mental health issues. In the same way as they do with physical ailments and by promoting. Awareness of mental health issues within their organization.

Another approach is to teach dedicated employees to help colleagues in need. And then become advocates for wellness and mental health services. As some employees might feel more comfortable talking to a friend rather than a psychiatrist. And these internal advocates are able to serve as a bridge between the employees and the mental health services.

The companies can also design programs that allow employees to listen to individuals suffering. From mental illness speak about their own struggles and the way they overcome these challenges. Research suggests that having these connections with friends can help reduce stigmatization at the very least for a short time.

Promoting Social Support Through Teamwork

In addition, a substantial body of research shows that social support can mitigate the effects of stress. More than 140,000 readers depend upon The Conversation’s monthly newsletters to learn about the world. Join today. It’s free.

Social connections with the people who surround you can help to build what psychologists refer to as collective efficacy. Or an underlying belief in the ability of a group to cooperate and overcome challenges in order to reach objectives. Collective efficacy can improve the performance of a group and is an essential component in the process of resolving trauma.