The prevalence of mental disturbances in the workplace
Mental health is becoming a more prevalent topic of conversation, especially after the effects of isolation during the pandemic. Although the subject is being talked about more frequently, the stigma surrounding mental well-being still persists. Mental illness is impacting society on many levels including individually, socially, and economically. On average, employees in Australia spend over a third of their waking hours at work, thus making it an optimal time to incorporate mental health training and interventions. More information from Black Dog Institute here.
Research conducted by the Australian Bureau of Statistics reported that approximately one in five Australian adults from the age of 16 to 85 years old will experience at least one of the common forms of mental illness at any point in time, and 45% will experience a mental health or substance abuse disorder in their lifetime. More information here. Mental dysfunctions and disorders are detrimental to an individual both personally and professionally because they will not be able to normally function and work simultaneously. It can be very challenging to notice or understand the adversities of someone who is struggling mentally since the present symptoms are not usually visible to the outside world. Mental illness affects people in different ways. It is important to check in on your colleagues to see how they are doing mentally because this will directly influence their level of productivity and effectiveness in the workplace.
Signs someone may be struggling
One of the primary contributing factors to mental illness is being under excessive stress. Each year the Australian economy loses approximately $12 billion in lowered productivity and sickness absence associated with issues in mental well-being. Find out more here. Conducted research here demonstrates that stress related to jobs or other occupational psychological hazards are emerging as the leading contributors to the burden of work-related disease and injury in Australia. The following symptoms may be influential factors that indicate you or someone you know may be struggling with their mental well-being:
- Constant feelings of sadness or discouragement;
- Sleeping too much or not at all;
- Withdrawing from your work colleagues, friends, or family;
- A decline in your work habits or performance;
- An increase in the use of alcohol, drugs or medications;
- Emotional outbursts;
- The commencement or an increase in the intensity of work or family issues; and/or
- The commencement or an increase in the severity of physical problems.
Why is it important to talk about?
Implementing mental health support within the workplace is no longer nice to have but a necessity. Read more here. The first step is creating awareness and a safe environment where no one has to feel like they can not speak their mind. Following this, it is important to educate employees about the possible signs and symptoms someone may be struggling with so that they can look out for themselves along with their colleagues. Then it is crucial to create wellness solutions to assist employees so that they have the ability to continuously thrive. Employers offering mental well-being programs at work is another beneficial way to encourage their employees to take care of themselves effectively and prevent any disruptions in their mental health.
It is no secret that work can often contribute to negative outcomes mentally, such as high-stress levels. An article written by Shonna Waters states “mental health and human performance are not two separate pursuits but rather two parts of the same equation”. It is critical in today’s world to have mental well-being as a top priority so that companies can have high-performing employees. Taking care of yourself and ensuring your colleagues are doing the same will allow the business to better flourish and avoid mental illnesses arising for employees in the office.
Learning about mental well-being at The Working Kind Collective
Bambuddha Group will be offering training modules. Implementing effective learning and development programs in the workplace allows employees to retain and apply new skills in their day-to-day workflows. You can read more about the benefits here. By incorporating mental well-being education into the workplace, employers can ensure that all of their colleagues are in an environment that allows them to flourish and succeed. At Bambuddha Group, The Working Kind Collective exemplifies how gaining insight into mental health creates a more welcoming space. These various learning opportunities demonstrate to employees that their employers are supportive. By fostering a workplace that has awareness surrounding mental health, the company culture is ultimately boosted. Utilizing mental well-being programs is also beneficial because it establishes to those employees that their employers believe they are worth investing in.
The Working Kind Collective allows workers to gain a sense of community and never feel alone. Bambuddha Group understands the high importance of checking in on those around you, even if it is simply to ask “are you okay?” Read more from R U OK? Charity here. Listening to the mental challenges someone may courageously open up about will not only be beneficial to the individual struggling but also to their colleagues since they will then be more inclined to seek out help if they too are struggling. Although mental health can be a difficult topic to breach, it is essential to talk about it for the best possible work environment. At Bambuddha Group, employees share values of working hard and working kind which enhances collaboration and establishes an environment where people feel they can open up about their struggles if need be. Read more about the benefits of a collaborative work space here. Leading with kindness is not only creating a welcoming and nurturing space but also demonstrating to employees that their employer cares about their well-being, which is exactly what the Kind Collective is about.
Be sure to check in on those around you and take care of yourself!
Blog post by: Stephanie Tamasi