It can be difficult to shelve our personal concerns when we enter the office, and ignoring what’s bothering us doesn’t bode well for long-term mental health. Compounding the problem is the stigma against discussing mental health issues in the professional space, which means that often our needs go unfulfilled. However, for an individual to live up to their potential, and by extension, for a workforce to be productive, mental health needs cannot be ignored. The numbers back up this notion: According to a recent study, U.S. companies lose up to $225.5 billion a year due to lowered productivity, absenteeism, and tardiness associated with anxiety, depression, and substance abuse. Unfortunately, those most affected don’t (or feel like they can’t) seek treatment. A 2016 study found that an estimated 350 million people around the world are affected by depression, but only one in 27 “received minimally adequate care for their condition.” It’s important for employers to foster a culture that prioritizes whole health, focusing on both the physical and mental aspects of wellness. Providing access to behavioral therapy is a good start, and encouraging a positive work-life balance is critical. Effectively communicating to employees what their options are and training managers to identify warning signs can be greatly beneficial.
Create a Whole-Health Wellness Culture
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