Mental health in the workplace.

In the world where people are busy chasing material things, financial stability, success in all endeavors and prosperity, it is hard to stop and check how you are doing mentally, emotionally and physically. People wake up at 04am to prepare for work which starts at 06am; working tirelessly and only to get back home late at night to resume the same routine the following day. 

You see, work is good for mental health but, a negative working environment can lead to physical and mental health problems such as depression and anxiety. These have been discovered to be the downside of not only our lives as individuals but also the entire economy of the country as it has been estimated that at least 264 million people suffer from depression globally which is a huge loss to humanity and the world at large.

Further, records from the World Health Organization, WHO have shown that harassment and bullying at work are common challenges which have a substantial adverse impact on mental health. Hence, the need for organizations, both public and private to promote and establish mental health measures in workplaces. Implementing effective measures for purposes of mental health and balance should be a priority in organizations in that these measures can also help enhance productivity among employees.

You see,  a negative working environment is definitely an adversary to health because it can lead to physical and mental health problems, abuse of substances or drugs; and unproductive behavior and absenteeism at work. 

With that being said, organizations that promote mental health and support people with mental disorders should be commended in that not only will this improve performance of employees, but it is also likely to reduce absenteeism and yield associated economic gains.

There are many risk factors of mental health that are presented in every working environment. These risks mostly range from interactions between type of work, the organizational and managerial environment, the skills and competencies of employees to the support available for employees to carry out their work.These risks include but, not limited to the following:

  • inadequate health and safety policies in an organization, firm or company.
  • Poor communication and management practices.
  • Limited participation in decision-making processes of the orga and perhaps, little or no control over one’s area of work.
  • Low levels of support for employees with inflexible working hours, increased workloads, restrictions on breaks.  unclear tasks, lack of team spirit and organizational objectives.

Bullying and psychological harassment are commonly reported causes if work induced stress in employers and employees,  presenting the risk of mental instability to workers. These challenges can also have a negative impact on family and social interactions at the end of it all.

There are many ways of  achieving the goal of establishing a healthy workplace. These include implementing  governmental legislation, strategies and policies that can help create a work environment where workers and managers actively contribute to the working environment by promoting and protecting the health, safety and wellbeing of all employees. 

Management in organizations should be able to put up measures that will allow for the recognition of signs and symptoms of stress, distress, anxiety, depression and mental imbalance. For example, it is vital for evey organization to have a medical center where Psychologists and therapists will be able to counsel and treat workers whenever they show signs of mental instability. 

Lots of people are suffering from work induced stresses and these stem into the families and cause problems. Hence. It is highly important for employers to help their employees work well by also reducing risk factors such as bullying, harassment and disrespect among employees. It is also important for management to ensure that their workers are given workloads that equal their abilities and competence. Furthermore, employees should also be given time away from work in view of regrouping mentally to enhance performance at work.

Mental health is highly important in every working man or woman’s life as it is a matter of life and death. As a result, it should be given the priority it needs and deserves for the sake of people’s well-being and the economy of the country. further, it is important that people cease from stigmatizing people with mental problems whether at work or at home. Mental health problems can affect anyone and they can also be treated.

What mental health needs is more sunlight, more candor, and more unashamed conversation.

Glenn Close

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