The workplace is often the last place that we expect to discuss our mental health, but it is one of the most vital places that our mental health comes into play in our daily lives. There are still stigmas surrounding our mental health. Employees may fear judgement from their boss or co-workers if they disclose any mental health struggles. There may also be a fear of risking future promotions or pay raises because of mental health.
Employers can change the stigma and fear about mental health, though many rarely take action even if there is a benefit to doing so. Mental health related healthcare costs can add up to the tune of $100 billion per year and over 217 million lost workdays. By investing in mental healthcare for employees, employers may see increased employee retention and increased productivity.
Beyond cost savings, there are several more reasons why employers should be prioritizing mental health in the workplace.
Happier and More Productive Employees
If employees don’t feel comfortable talking about their mental health, they may not be comfortable seeking treatment. Instead, if mental health issues could be discussed appropriately, employers could make accommodations for their employees. For example, if an employee suffers from panic attacks and anxiety, their supervisor may be able to provide alternative ways for the employee to present their work to others or give them a safe space to go. By creating a plan, the employee would likely remain with and be more valuable to the company.
End Mental Health Stigmas
If mental illness is viewed as a weakness, it can be challenging to find support at the office, particularly if co-workers are not sensitive when discussing mental health. We all deserve encouragement and acceptance in our lives and feeling as though we must hide a part of ourselves at work is unhelpful.
Instead, employers should work to make mental illness more acceptable and normalize it in the workplace. By creating a culture of acceptance, it is more likely that those needing help