One of the most common issues in the workplace, yet the least talked about, are employees struggling with mental illness. Ignoring mental illness has been detrimental to businesses across the country. If mental health is addressed in the workplace as well as other conditions and illnesses including employee morale could increase.
There is a stigma of mental illness at work that has plagued workplaces for decades. With the American workforce increasing its productivity by over 430 percent per worker since 1950, the need to constantly increase workloads can result in some dismissing mental illness as laziness. But someone who has a mental illness can experience:
- Acting out unexpectedly.
- Difficulty maintaining focus or concentration.
- Inability to make decisions.
- Lower productivity.
- Take an extended period of time off.
- Withdrawn demeanor, sadness, or low energy.
Mental illness also adversely affects once performance and ability to perform daily functions. This also diminishes one’s ability to communicate with others and engage in their own work, as well as their overall quality of life. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), depression reduces a person’s ability to complete a task over 20 percent of the time. It also reduces one’s cognitive ability about 35 percent of the time. Unfortunately, only about 57 percent of those affected by depression receive treatment for depression.
What Can Employers Do for Mental Health Awareness?
Employers now are beginning to take notice; more work is causing more stress and mental health problems for employees, leading to more healthcare costs and lower productivity. Employers could work with their workers’ schedules to ease the stress of working too much. Other actions employers could take include:
- Allow employees the opportunity to include insight on issues related to job stress.
- Create quiet spaces that promote mindfulness and relaxation activities.
- Encourage an open environment for communication of all mental health illnesses.
- Offer free screenings for mental health illnesses by a qualified mental health professional, followed by clinical referrals if needed.
- Offer media regarding mental health illnesses to all employers to help recognize symptoms either for themselves or for fellow employees.
- Offer seminars or workshops with open communication discussing mental health and stress management.
- Supply mental health assessment tools for employees.
- Train managers and give them the tools to recognize mental health illness symptoms and signs, particularly for stress and depression.
What Can Employees Do to Manage Stress?
If your employer does not offer any mental health awareness workshops or the stigma of mental health is still prevalent in your workplace, speak to your employer about changing the environment:
- Encourage your employer to offer stress management education and programs, as well as mental health programs.
- Participate in mental health awareness programs and encourage your fellow workers to do so as well.
- Share personal experiences with your fellow coworker when appropriate.
- Be mindful of others and listen when they are sharing their experiences to be empathetic to others.
- Be aware if a coworker is exhibiting symptoms of mental illness and offer support; encourage that worker to seek help as soon as possible.
- Eat healthy meals and exercise regularly, which boosts morale and encourages a more balanced mood.
The Coatesville Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at Wusinich & Sweeney & Ryan, LLC Help Those with Mental Illness File Workers’ Comp Claims
If you need to a file a workers’ compensation claim for a mental illness, consider contacting the Coatesville workers’ compensation lawyers at Wusinich & Sweeney & Ryan, LLC. Our knowledgeable team has years of experience with cases like this and can help make sure you get the compensation you deserve. Call us today at 610-594-1600 or fill out our online form for a free consultation. With our offices located in Exton, Pennsylvania, we proudly serve all communities of Downingtown, West Chester, Exton, Coatesville, Phoenixville, Malvern, Lyndell, Wagontown, Uwchland, Parkesburg, Chester Springs, Lancaster County, Reading, and Morgantown.