De-stigmatizing Mental Health In the Workplace
Updated: Nov 8, 2021
A Recap on the Past Year and a Half
The pandemic brought about a lot of changes across the globe. During its time we witnessed many turns of events. The murder of George Floyd and other Black Americans by police, targeted racism towards Asian-Americans, and the California wildfires brought about additional factors that affected many people's mental health. With all these factors, businesses have started thinking more about their employee's mental health and how they can support their team in times of distress. This post covers aspects of mental health in the workplace and tips and tricks on how to approach your employer to ensure that you are getting the care and attention you deserve.
For far too long, mental health has not been addressed in the workplace. Employees are expected to come in five days a week and get their work done. However, this stigma is changing and the only way for it to become more prominent is learning, sharing, and spreading the word. An article published by Harvard Business Review states that, "As we fast forward to 2021, the stakes have been raised even higher thanks to a greater awareness of the workplace factors that can contribute to poor mental health, as well as heightened urgency around its intersections with DEI" (Mental Health at Work). Although these trends show a changed outlook on mental health, there are still far too many employers that are still not taking steps to benefit their employee's well-being.
Before we delve into tips for addressing your employer, it is important to remember one thing: be kind, always. If you see someone in your workplace struggling or not, it is important to check in. At the end of the day we are all human and experience life in different ways. Mental health acceptance and availability starts with the de-stigmatization of the topic.
Tips and Tricks
So what can be done to ensure that your workplace is doing everything they can to support their employees? We have some tips for you.
Ask your employer if there is a possibility that they can implement mental health days every couple weeks.
Figure out if your employer provides enhanced counseling benefits or apps.
Be more open about how you are feeling and if a supportive response is not received, take action to stand up for what you believe in.
Ask your employer to incorporate a wellness room or space in the office where people can go to take care of themselves privately.
Have an outdoor event day with other employees to focus on creating bonds outside of just work.
At the end of the day, it is important to remember to always take time for yourself. Your work will always find a way to get done. As Pedro Diaz once said:
"Mental Health doesn't care about positions or job titles. It can affect anyone at anytime. Be considerable. Be respectful. Be kind."
Thank you for taking the time to read this post. Mental health is just one aspect that our student group believes needs to be changed in the workplace. If you are interested in learning about more aspects of the workplace that we believe should be changed, check out other blog posts or reference the home page to learn more about this movement.