Allow us to reiterate the importance of mental health screening for your company.
A few years ago, an employee shot multiple coworkers at a Kansas factory. Three were killed. Sad to say, similar cases have been reported throughout the years. While there are different reasons for the shooting, one thing is obvious. Mental illness or mental health should be given importance. If the management can do its part to screen mental health, these incidents will become less likely to happen.
How Can Mental Health Affect the Workplace?
Around 18.5 percent of adults experience mental illnesses in the U.S. alone, only 4.2 percent will experience serious mental diseases that can tremendously affect their lives. While it is true that there’s only a small chance that a mental illness can lead to violent crimes, it doesn’t mean that employers should not prioritize this.
As we all know, when a person is not mentally stable or experiences mental illness, it can affect a major part of one’s life. Their decision-making abilities can be poor and they lack focus. It will directly influence how they perceive things. And yes, it will hit how they perform at work.
Some might say that you should leave your personal problems at home and be productive at work. But that’s not possible. If you force yourself not to address your personal or mental problems, it will eventually take a toll in the long run. This is why many companies today talk about mental health amongst their employees.
Let’s summarize where mental health can negatively affect an employee and your business.
- Daily functions and physical abilities
- Communication skills and professional engagement
- Job productivity and overall performance
Should Employees Ask About Mental Health During the Interview Process?
The answer is NO. You cannot conduct mental health screenings among your applicants. If you must know, serious mental illness is considered a protected disability under the ADA. ADA stands for the Americans with Disabilities Act, and it punishes those who discriminate in the workplace.
Here’s the thing, though. When a job offer has been made, you can require employees to take a medical examination if this is a requirement for all your workers. Please take note that the information about your employees should be kept confidential and must not be used to discriminate against them. You can only use the information if the disability hinders them from doing their job as required and there’s no reasonable accommodation to be made.
When we say reasonable accommodation, there can be a change in the work environment to ensure that the person with the disability can do their job. A good example is providing flexible working hours so the employee can attend doctor’s appointments.
Do You Have a Good Mental Health Program?
Many companies today conduct mental health screening. That’s a good first step. However, do not forget to evaluate your current health program. Is this something that your employees could really benefit from? Do you need to alter this?
Likewise, you can ask your health insurance carrier about their behavioral health services. Do they provide online materials or self-screening tools? Be thorough with your questions so you can relay the same to your employees. By being open to your workers, they know that you support them to achieve optimal mental health, and they will take advantage of the available resources.
What Type of Mental Health Program Can You Implement?
Here are a few ways to help your employees with their mental health. You can consider these as your gifts to your employees.
Seminars for Mental Health Awareness
As an employer, you should consistently educate your employees about the different types of mental illnesses. Ensure that a professional conduct the seminar because they know exactly what to say to your employees. Plus, they can provide expert recommendations.
Trainings for Team Leaders and Upper Management
Trainings for supervisors and managers must be conducted as well. They play a huge role when it comes to mental health in the workplace. They need to understand how to prevent and how to handle different situations brought about by mental disorders.
Self-Assessment Tools For Employees
As we’ve already mentioned, provide tools and other resources that can help your employees assess themselves. Most workers are not aware that they are already suffering from some sort of mental illness so this should help them. They probably think it’s just another stressful week at work but it can be more than that. If they don’t act on it, it will only get worse.
You can also send out brochures or emails on how they can manage their stress. These can include breathing exercises, meditation, and mindfulness. While many people are already aware of the techniques, they tend not to do it because they are overwhelmed with work. As an employer, remind them to pause for a while and take care of their mental health.
Have a Dedicated Space To Relax
If your space permits have a dedicated area where your employees can take a deep breath, especially when they are already stressed out. It will help if you can have a space where they can vent or just spend a few minutes composing themselves.
In addition, remind your employees that your company is open to discussing if they are having troubles at work. This simple act can create a positive ripple effect. When you believe that professional help must be provided, offer it to your employees.
Creating a Holistic Health Program for Employees
While we are prioritizing mental health in this article, you shouldn’t forget about your employees’ physical health. Encourage your workers to stay physically active and create appropriate activities that will keep them interested.
Remember, people suffering from mental health disorders also need to look after their physical health conditions. They might be suffering from heart diseases, respiratory diseases, diabetes and other illnesses that may affect joints and bones.
Let Well Health Works Help Your Company
One of our core objectives at Well Health Works is to ensure that your company has the best working environment. If you need help with your health programs, reach out to us right away.
Call us at 833-935-9355 or send a message at firstname.lastname@example.org.