Unlocking Mental Health in the Workplace: Building a Healthy Workplace

by | Mar 28, 2022 | Awareness, Awareness Day/Month

Fingers constantly working on laptops, eyes lost in the starlight of the screen, and mind battling with anger, fear, anxiety, judgments, and pressure to win the race! This is the image of a modern human working to earn a little more and finding peace a little less. The struggle of the mind against the world has led to an increase in mental health issues.
85 percent of the people say their mental health issues are causing self-deprivation, poor physical health, reduced happiness at home, suffering family relationships, or isolation from friends.
The numbers are shouting about what we don’t want to discuss. We have unfortunately merged the line between hard work and mental pressure and have started accepting our mental ill-health as part of our journey towards success. This is not only a myth but a catastrophic one! Ignoring the red signs our tired brain and body give us is not a smart choice. Workplace is not a battlefield to succumb but a space to grow.

What are you missing?

An employee within a healthy work culture can still suffer anxiety and depression. So, how does one recognize what is going wrong? How can one assess that something is not right around him? How can companies ensure that their employees’ mental health is well taken care of? The warning signs are always in front of our eyes but not seen often.

  1. Choosing self-isolation

If your colleague or manager is ignoring social interaction or unwilling to converse; The day has passed and he has not shared a cup of coffee, taken a break, or isolated himself till the last light is off.

2. Deterioration in work habits

Unable to meet deadlines, poor productivity, and sudden loss of concentration: the most common symptoms, yet 98% of times attributed only to low intellect and performance.

3. Losing the calm

Frequent and regular episodes of anger, nervousness, restlessness, outbursts, and losing control over emotions are red flags that need immediate attention.

4. Leaning on addictions

An increase in alcohol consumption, smoking habits, and drug abuse are the signs that a person is choosing to stay out of the mind rather than in a stable mindset.

5. Physical Buzzers

Decrease in physical activity, constant headaches, lethargy, pale skin, and dizziness are all the buzzers indicating that the person is not feeling good. Indications like these show that there is an importunate need for help.

“What will my colleagues think? Will my manager compromise my promotion because of my condition? My image will be tainted. I will be branded as a weak human with poor performance…” These are lesser of the many heard-of thoughts, and these are the exact imaginary walls that prevent them from seeking help. People often need guidance and a shoulder to lean on but insecurities and fear to show emotions, especially in the workforce are what force them to take a step back.

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A workplace that holds space

We spend most of the days’ time working/at the workplace. Not always does stress stem out of work; it could be a personal struggle or a family conflict. Either way, what is important is if the workplace is receptive to one’s predicament.

Educating to connect

Awareness campaigns and frequent open talks regarding mental health issues are wonderful ways to break the barrier. Employees and managers can be guided to reach out to coworkers who are feeling stressed.

Maintaining Work-life balance

Encouraging employees to take out time for exercise, regular health check-ups and pursuing hobbies take the employee-employer relationship to another level. This not only motivates employees but also facilitates better communication and trust with their team.

Jumping on Mental Health Policies

An establishment without mental health policies is just a pack of cards stacked on a windy day. Mental health policies against harassment, bullying, discrimination like POSH etc. are not something to miss! Documentation and implementation of these policies should be de rigueur.

Look for the gaps

As a leader or manager, connecting with the team-mates at a personal level is important. Monitoring employee engagement as a positive environment will serve an organization with passionate and enthusiastic employees.

  • Taking breaks together as a team
  • Casual meetups and outings
  • Offsite visits
  • Family days and cultural events
  • Celebrations and appreciations
  • Open conversations
  • Employee wellness support teams

These are a few of the numerous possibilities of ensuring active engagement, discernment, and connection amongst the team members. This can go longer way than one can really imagine by rendering a sense of belonging and a non-judgmental environment.

An individual’s mental ability to assimilate and manage multiple chores of life is very subjective; nevertheless, a perpetual unresolved mental health condition of an employee is a direct measure of its organizational ethics. A happy workplace is not one where employees are endlessly rejoicing, rather one where even the tears and woes are given space, held, and supported with equal conviction.