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Mental Health in the Workplace

July 21, 2017 / Corporate Wellness / Virgin Pulse

Within the past couple of weeks, the topic of mental health in the workplace has featured prominently in the news and throughout social media. A recent viral instance quickly became the gold standard for how organizations should speak publicly about mental health and support those who may be struggling.

Over 8 million American adults suffer from what federal health data calls psychological distress. This condition, which ranges from general feelings of hopelessness to high levels of anxiety, stress, and depression, often compromises employees’ ability to do their best work on the job. Employers can expect these numbers to continue to rise as many common mental disorders are increasing worldwide.

It’s important for employers to understand their level of contribution towards their employees’ mental health. Employers should aim to provide the support required for better mental health at work. In addition, organizations should make every effort to reduce the possibility that their environment is a cause for stress and anxiety.

Organizations who recognize the toll mental health takes on the productivity and wellbeing in their workforces are investing in mental health wellbeing programs. And, they’re seeing significant returns on that investment.

Research by the World Health Organization shows that for every US$1 invested in treating depression and anxiety produces a return of US$4 in better wellbeing and greater productivity.

“We know that treatment of depression and anxiety makes good sense for health and wellbeing; this new study confirms that it makes sound economic sense too,” said Dr. Margaret Chan, Director-General of WHO.

‘’Mental health of employees at work remains firmly as ‘the elephant in the room’ and the biggest threat to business performance. In the current climate of political and economic change, and the threat of terrorism, uncertainty, and lack of trust remain as the biggest sources of mental ill health for all of us. This has led to consistent levels of mental unease, which when coupled with business practices, increases anxiety and affects employees sleep patterns, reduces employee concentration and productivity and ultimately business profitability. Scientific evidence clearly shows the impact wellbeing practices can have in increasing employee resilience and should be available to the entire workforce for not only coping now but also long term. In summary – a resilient business needs resilient employees’’.                                                                             Dr David Batman. Consultant Occupational Health Physician and Member of Virgin Pulse Scientific Advisory Board

To elevate the conversation about mental health in your workplace, check out Stressing the Issue: a whitepaper featuring more of Dr Batman’s thoughts on identifying and improving this hidden workplace threat.

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