Mental health in the modern workplace: Employees’ right to a healthy work environment
In today's always-on, hyper-connected world, employees find themselves navigating the relentless currents of a high-speed professional landscape. This has unsurprisingly led to a startling statistic: over 60% of global employees reported deteriorating mental health due to work pressures.
This Mental Health Month, mental health in the workplace is brought into the spotlight, underscoring the undeniable truth: wellbeing isn't just a buzzword anymore. It's a non-negotiable, universal human right that employees expect in the workplace. According to a study by the American Psychological Association (APA), 81% of individuals said they look for workplaces that support mental health when they seek future job opportunities.
Evolving Employee Attitude Towards Mental Health in the Workplace
In the past, discussing mental health issues was taboo and something that wasn’t openly talked about. Fast forward to today, we're witnessing a welcome shift in the workplace towards mental health. The growing acceptance and recognition of mental health issues have created a culture where employees feel empowered to discuss their concerns without fear of retribution.
This change has partly been driven by forward-thinking companies and influential professionals recognising the benefits of a mentally healthy workforce. Moreover, studies have emphasised the importance of wellbeing, linking it to better cognitive function and decision-making, thereby appealing to today's professionals.
Ways to Embrace Mental Health in the Workplace
Initiate conversations with co-workers and colleagues about mental health. The more talk happens, the more mental health is normalised. Seek out employers who value mental wellbeing as much as employees’ skill sets. This will typically be seen in the company’s overall values, as well as the programs they have in place for their employees.
The current ecosystem offers an array of resources for employees to embrace mental health in the workplace. Employees can now use the following methods for support:
- EAPs: Engage in EAPs (Employee Assistance Programs) that organisations offer employees.
- Digital Platforms: Use digital platforms like the ThoughtFullChat app to gain affordable and accessible mental health support.
- Join a Community: Explore online forums, helplines, and mental health advocacy groups for ongoing support.
Wellbeing goes beyond just feeling "okay". It's about feeling valued, having purpose, and maintaining good mental health. One’s psychological wellbeing plays a pivotal role in overall health and longevity. When we promote wellbeing, we're championing universal human rights—asserting that every individual deserves a quality life, free from undue mental distress.
Innovation and Sustainable Development in a Mentally Healthy Society
A mentally healthy society paves the way for creativity, innovation, and sustainable development. When employees feel mentally fit, they're more likely to think outside the box, collaborate efficiently, and contribute positively. Having this state of mind also bolsters resilience, enabling team members to face challenges both in and out of work head-on.
Ways to Maintain Mental Health Outside of Work
Prioritise self-care. A mentally fit you is beneficial not just for your workplace, but for society at large. Here are some things that can be done to help your mental load on a day to day basis outside of the office:
- Sweat It Out: A recommended 150 minutes of exercise a week can help manage stress and reduce the risk of depression.
- Digital Detox: Limit screen time and social media exposure. In 2022, the average person spent about 3 hours and 15 minutes on their phones daily. While technology has its advantages, it's crucial to strike a balance. Regular breaks from the screen can help reduce feelings of anxiety and information overload.
- Mindful Meditation: Incorporate meditation or mindfulness exercises into your daily routine. Even a few minutes can help improve focus and reduce anxiety. In fact, studies have showcased a 14% decrease in anxiety levels for individuals practising regular mindfulness exercises.
- Talk It Out: Communication is therapeutic. Sharing your concerns or even talking about daily events with friends, family, or professionals can be immensely beneficial. Platforms like the ThoughtFullChat App provide a safe space for individuals to share how they’re feeling.
Bridging Gaps in Mental Healthcare: The Role of Tech and Equitable Access
Applications, virtual therapies, and online platforms are bridging the geographical and financial gaps, ensuring more individuals have access to mental health resources. Companies like ThoughtFull are at the forefront, championing initiatives to make mental health resources universally available in workplaces across the globe.
Ways to Embrace Technology for Mental Healthcare
Familiarise yourself with digital mental health tools. Embrace technology's role in augmenting traditional therapies, and be open to trying new ways of getting help.
- Research Digital Platforms: Begin by exploring various digital mental health platforms available. Look for well-reviewed and recommended applications or websites that cater to mental wellbeing tailored to you.
- Start with Free Trials: Most digital tools offer free trials or basic versions. Start here to get a feel for the platform and determine how well suited it is for your specific needs.
- Set Your Own Schedule: Digital mental health tools can be accessed any time, anywhere. More flexibility and freedom give more control over one’s schedule.
Collective Efforts: Governments, Organisations, and NGOs
Governments, organisations, and NGOs are actively joining hands in the hopes of destigmatising and normalising mental health. They are consistently introducing and driving mental health awareness campaigns that shed light on the pressing issues surrounding the topic.
Furthermore, the corporate sphere is also recognising its role, with many entities prioritising mental wellbeing in their organisational agendas. For employees, it's crucial to stay informed about these collaborative strides. Not only does it underscore the support mechanisms in place, but it also opens avenues for employees to lend their support and participate actively, further strengthening the collective endeavour.
ThoughtFull's Contribution to Universal Mental Health
ThoughtFull is transforming the mental health landscape by making it both affordable and accessible through the ThoughtFullChat app. With it, everyone can seek help whenever and wherever they need it. ThoughtFull collaborates with employers, provides education, and empowers organisations with tools crucial for employee wellbeing.
As we continue on this trajectory to normalise and destigmatise mental issues, it's imperative for employees to take charge of their overall health. After all, a mentally healthy individual is the cornerstone of a progressive society.
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