Many people suffer from mental illness every year, yet most of these suffer in silence. The stigma and non-acceptance of mental issues keep many people from openly expressing their problems and seeking professional help. Many of such cases are also seen in the workplace and once exposed, the employee can even lose the job. If not that, then there are various other consequences and misconceptions that make it harder to survive in the workplace.
Let’s analyze what are the misconceptions about mental health that lingers in the modern workplace.
Risk Factors for Mental Health at the Workplace
- Poor management or communication skills
- Limited control or decision-making power
- Lack of proper health policies
- Low support and guidance offered to employees
- Longer working hours with no flexibility for leaves
- Unclear objectives
- Rude talking or communication styles (mostly managers)
Misconception About Mental Health
1. It Is Forever
Not every mental health issue is forever. For instance, one who has had depression may have certain periods of lows in his or her life but this issue won’t stay forever if treated correctly.
Hence, if a person goes on leave due to mental breakdown or other mental health issues, they should not be treated as if they still have that issue. Things go wrong sometimes at the workplace and there is no need for explicitly stating that since a person has mental problems, he or she may be the reason.
2. The Work-Efficiency Can Be Low
People who have mental issues often strive to work more to deliver more. Sometimes, their problems won’t let them work effectively but that doesn’t indicate that this person can’t work efficiently at all. It is so widely believed that many people end up losing their jobs because of their mental problems. When they should receive support from the workplace, they receive a termination letter.
3. People Can Avoid It
Many factors play an important role in the development of a mental health issue such as genetics, traumatic injury, or events. While anyone can take steps towards improving or eliminating the problem, it is not in their hands to prevent or avoid it from happening in the first place.
For example, good eating and exercising habits can be developed for a healthy mind and body – obviously as suggested by the doctor.
4. A Person Is Either Mentally Unwell or Healthy
Any person can experience mental issue for a short duration as well which may be incurred because of some emotional event in his or her life. This doesn’t indicate that the problem will stay forever, it can be reduced and resolved. Anyone can fall out of the spectrum for a short duration and according to research as well, there are only 17% of people who are optimally healthy as far as mental wellness is concerned.
How to Create A Healthy Workplace?
- Reduce stressful environment at workplace
- Address mental issues if any employee faces it
- Promote mental health through exercise and wellness programmes
- Implement good health policies
- Ensure that employees are a part of the system not just working for the system like machines
- Ensure career development and growth opportunities
- Recognize and reward your employees on achievements
Mental problems don’t come and go at one’s own will. Hence, it is necessary for HR to implement measures and policies relevant to the employees. All the misconceptions should be understood and removed and specific measures should be taken to make employees feel safe at the workplace.