How to Address Mental Health in the Workplace
This month, we are re-publishing an article from the June edition of the HR Done Right newsletter. In conjunction with Benefits Done Right, HRDR has teamed up with industry experts from Kaiser and ComPsych to discuss mental health in the workplace and violence prevention.
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Mental Health in the Workplace
It's headlining the morning news show. It's all over social media. It's being talked about at the water cooler. The suicides of public figures Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain have catapulted mental health into the spotlight and shined a light on a topic that can sometimes be difficult to discuss. The World Health Organization found that suicide was one of the top 20 leading causes of death in 2015 and was the leading cause of death of people between the ages of 15-29.
Americans with a full-time job work an average of 47 hours per week, which means a large portion of our waking hours are spent around those we work with.
If you observe a change in behavior in someone, don't be afraid to start a conversation. By starting with "I wanted to check in, you haven't seemed like yourself lately," you are giving them the opportunity to open up and ask for help if they need it. These conversations are not always the easiest to start, but do not shy away from it. There are resources that can help identify warning signs of mental illness or other changes in behavior.
An Employee Assistance Program (EAP) can also be a beneficial resource. Employers can direct their employees to services covered in their EAP to continue the recovery process. By providing an EAP, you can help reduce the effect untreated mental illness can have on your company.
The conversation about mental health in the workplace is not going away. Employers have an opportunity to help their employees receive the help that is needed. Your consultant is available to provide guidance on starting these conversations.