Mental illnesses have devastating effects not only on an individual’s personal life but, also on his/her professional life. These illnesses are one of the most rapidly growing health concerns in the United States. According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), approximately 43.8 million adults in the U.S. experience some form of mental illness in a given year.
While a combination of genetic, environmental and emotional factors can trigger a mental illness in an individual, these are often prompted by workplace pressure, discrimination, harassment and violence. Therefore, it is important for a person to learn how to manage the causes to continue leading a healthy life.
Handling mental health triggers and staying safe and healthy should be the top priority of any individual. Similarly, it is essential for an employer to promote a positive work environment for the wellbeing of his/her employees. Taking this forward, America observes June as the National Safety Month, every year. The aim of this month is to spread awareness about safety issues such as, medication safety and prescription painkiller abuse, driving, biking, and working safely, first aid and emergency preparedness and preventing slips, trips and falls.
Employers ignore employees’ mental wellbeing
While it is true that mental illnesses could result in absenteeism among employees, the condition can also affect them in numerous other ways, such as lost productivity, reduced cognitive ability and thus, affect the profits of a company.
Undoubtedly, employers are well-aware of the fact that their employees, too, can have some or the other form of mental illness. But, they tend to ignore the same in a bid to avoid getting stuck in medical and legal processes. This, in turn, results in mental illnesses remaining undiagnosed in employees. While it is true that it is not the employer’s responsibility to act as a medical professional but ensuring the wellbeing of his/her employees or creating an environment where one can openly talk about one’s mental illnesses and not be discriminated can lead to increased productivity.
There are several symptoms that can indicate that an employee is suffering from a mental illness. Some of these include:
- Unusual drop in performance
- Inability to think properly
- Feeling disconnected
- Illogical thinking
- Unusual behavior
- Abnormal appearance
- Complaints regarding lack of management support
- Increased treatment issues
- Withdrawal from colleagues
- Reduced decision-making ability
- Increased absenteeism
- Increased intake of caffeine
- Low energy levels
- Increased risk of self-injury
Employers can help employees’ with mental illness
Helping employees become aware of the best preventive measures for their mental illness can be the best remedy to tackle such issues. There are several other ways in which employers can help their employees such as:
- Reduce work pressure
- Flexible working hours
- Hiring employees trained in tackling mental health issues for managerial positions or those who are sensitive to such problems
- Raising awareness about mental illnesses
- Discussing mental health with employees
- Integrating mental health in company’s policies and procedures
- Incorporating stress-management procedures
- Conducting regular meetings
- Avoiding discrimination against such employees
Apart from these, an employer should also focus on spreading awareness about mental health issues, maintain a drug-free work environment and help his/her employees maintain a healthy work-life balance.
Anyone can develop some or the other form of mental illness. However, an employer should not discriminate on the basis of this. In fact, the employer should do everything in his/her power to help the employee tide over this, including referring the employee to a professional health care provider.
If you or someone you know is dealing with any form of mental illness that’s risky enough to trigger self-harm behavior, Sovereign Mental Health Services can help you connect with facilities offering self-injury disorder treatment in California. Call us at our 24/7 helpline number 866-973-7164 or chat online with one of our mental health experts who can assist you with complete information about some of the best self-injury disorder treatment centers in California.