FEAR FACTOR: Mental Health

Where does your company stand?

Everyone across America has heard and seen the horrific footage of a disgruntled employee fatally injuring two journalists and seriously injuring another in Roanoke, VA. Many were left shocked by this incident and now businesses have to put programs in place to help promote a healthy work environment. Of course every business won’t experience something this extreme, however making strides to improve the work space should be welcomed.

In recent years the topic of mental health has come to the forefront of the conversation for businesses, but it had since been regarded taboo. There is a stigma associated with mental illness and issues, but it is more common than you think. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, one in four adults have mental illness experiences.

There are many things that can contribute negatively to mental health in the workplace. An unhealthy work environment including extreme stress, conflict between employees, or micromanaging supervisors are all factors that alter mental stability. The effects of a toxic work climate can affect the productivity of employees, which can result in valuable work hours lost, possible absenteeism, and a less than appealing bottom line.

You can be proactive in promoting good mental health with a few easy steps:

– Make mental health a part of your wellness campaigns.

– Offer an Employee Assistance Program or ensure there are options for mental health in the one you provide.

– Engage in team activities to boost morale.

– Create an open communication, open door policy. Implement it from the top down and actually use it!

– Develop an environment where employees can discuss conflicts with higher management or HR.

– Train your managers on the warning signs & actions that could trigger behaviors, and implement a proper plan of action.

In addition:

When explaining the details of health insurance have an HR professional help out to discuss mental healthcare options. If you’re uncomfortable addressing mental health with your staff, there are services that can help you. Be sure to get some additional support from an HR company before you start the process to get the best tips and insight.

If you’re concerned about the coverage offered to your employees, don’t worry. According to mental health.gov many insurance providers offer preventative & rehabilitative services, as well as screenings. Your HR professional can aid you in understanding exactly what the details are.

Don’t be afraid to be proactive! It will only advance your company in the right direction.