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As an employer, you want your employees to be at their best. If they are happy and healthy, they can fully engage with their work and each other. One aspect of health that is often not talked about is mental health, which unfortunately can make it worse. Promoting mental health awareness in your company can help reduce the stigma around mental health conditions and encourage people to seek help if they are struggling.
As an employer or business leader, you can promote mental health awareness by sharing resources and information with your employees through the company intranet, social media channels, email, or other internal communications. Here are some tips that you may want to share to help your employees, if or when they find themselves struggling with mental health-related issues.
If you are struggling, share your thoughts, feelings, and experiences with those who are willing to listen and provide help for your well-being. Receiving care and support can bring comfort and reassurance. Engaging in conversation with others who are also experiencing similar feelings or situations can be helpful in alleviating feelings of isolation. Many workers are also parents of affected children. Discussing issues with children and evaluating their need for assistance is crucial because what affects a child also affects the parents.
If your company offers free or discounted counseling services to employees through health benefit plans, reimbursements, or flexible spending accounts, use these resources when necessary. Counseling provides a secure space to process feelings and receive support from a licensed mental health professional, which can be especially important for those facing financial constraints. Read through your company’s literature or intranet for information on the specific resources available to you.
This can be challenging, but there are signs to look out for. If your employee or coworker is unusually quiet, withdrawn, or appears to be struggling to concentrate, it could be a sign that they are experiencing emotional distress. If they are expressing strong emotions such as sadness, anger, or anxiety, this could also be a sign that they are struggling to cope. It is essential to approach the situation with empathy and sensitivity, offer a listening ear and emotional support.
Practice healthy habits, such as eating nutritious, well-balanced meals, getting enough rest, and incorporating physical activity into your daily routine. Avoid using alcohol or drugs as a coping mechanism, as these can worsen your emotions rather than helping you manage and reduce your stress. If you have difficulty sleeping, try relaxation techniques like deep breathing, meditation, or yoga.
Constant exposure to negative news stories, social media, or other sources of stress can exacerbate symptoms of anxiety, depression, or other mental health conditions. Tuning out stressors in the media can help individuals focus on their own mental health and prioritize self-care. This can involve taking a break from social media, limiting exposure to news stories, or choosing to consume media that is uplifting and positive. By reducing exposure to stressors in the media, individuals can create a more supportive environment for their mental health and promote healing and recovery. Uplift your spirits by turning your focus to family, friends, music, and nature.
The Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA) offers dozens of videos on coping, and dealing with anxiety, and depression, led by psychologists and mental health clinicians on its Youtube channel. You will find topics that include depression, anxiety, panic, intrusive thoughts, relaxation, trauma treatment, helping children build resilience, and managing emotional roller coasters.
The national Disaster Distress Helpline, a service of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, provides immediate crisis counseling for people who are experiencing emotional distress. The helpline is free, multilingual, confidential, and available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You can call or text 1-800-985-5990 to connect with a trained crisis counselor. For more intense needs, the number for the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline is 988.
By sharing this information and encouraging our employees to take care of themselves, we can help them to cope with stress and anxiety and protect their mental health. Remember to be aware of the signs of distress in your employees and encourage them to seek help from licensed professionals. As a community of business leaders, let’s make a conscious effort to encourage healthy habits, such as regular exercise, nutritious eating, and sufficient rest, to boost resilience and improve our employees’ overall well-being. By taking care of our employees, we can build a healthier workforce and community, together.
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