Feeling stress in the workplace since the pandemic began? You are not the only one. A recent Report from The Standard Insurance Company, says half of all workers are struggling with a mental health issue. And more than half say their mental health has been negatively affected during the pandemic.
Additionally, work from home, and fear of stigma has driven mental health disorders underground. Because of this, mental health and substance use disorders often go undetected, particularly in the workplace. The opioid epidemic, the mental health crisis, and the broad reach of addiction into the family, society, and the economy, make it clear that employers cannot afford to avoid the impact of mental health and substance use disorders among their staff.
Raising Awareness in the Workplace
A therapy team from Sanford, in Grand Rapids, Michigan, is doing something to raise awareness of the problem. Sanford Founder, Rae Green, JD, LPC, CAADC, and Director of Business and Program Development, Jenny Selent, MA, LMFT, have taken their presentation, “Raising Awareness of Mental Health & Substance Use Disorders in the Workplace” on “the road” via Zoom.
Speaking to managers, human resource professionals, and other key employees, their goal is to open the dialogue about mental illness in the workplace. And to provide solid advice about how to create a mental health friendly environment and develop the “soft skill ” associated with managing mental health.
From “Raising Awareness of Mental Health & Substance Use Disorders in the Workplace”:
When addressing mental health and substance use disorders in the workplace, it is always a good idea to tackle the problem in a timely manner. Be supportive and straightforward and focus on the health, wellbeing and performance of the individual. When someone is suffering from anxiety, depression, or substance misuse, it will usually manifest in their work performance.
It is never a good idea to argue, accuse or get sidetracked with rationalizing or blame. Have an objective and specific expectations in mind. And always be prepared with concrete help. Because, the goal is to provide those needing help and their families, with the tools they need to make educated decisions about the level of care necessary for the best outcomes.
An understanding of mental health disorders is key to prevention and treatment. Companies should look at mental health with the same compassion and urgency as they do other chronic illnesses. All of this works best when you can set the tone and culture from the top down. It pays dividends long-term.
Rae Green, Sanford Founder, JD, LPC, CAADC