What Happened to Last Year’s Resolutions??
As we bring 2019 to a close and reflect on our accomplishments, how did you do? Did you meet the goals that you set for yourself at the beginning of the year? If not, did you at least make steady progress toward your goals? Every step counts — congratulations on making it through another busy year. Whether you met the goals that you set for yourself this year, or you still have more work to do you, we can all agree that 2019 was a whirlwind year!
We’re pleased to say that one of the most controversial topics of our time — mental health care — is finally getting the attention it deserves. In this article, we touch on a hot topic in mental health news — mental health care in the workplace. Keep reading to learn what we’ve discovered about mental health in the workplace this year — plus get links to some of the best mental health resources available online.
Chronic Mental Health Issues + Workplace Stress
If you suffer from issues with chronic mental health like depression, anxiety, or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), then you already know how hard it can be simply getting out of bed each morning. When we add in the daily responsibilities of caring for families, children, and spouses, mental health issues can become amplified even more. What’s even scarier about this part — is that we haven’t even mentioned going to work yet. (Or, taken care of ourselves.)
Unless you’re declared fully disabled by a doctor or other licensed medical authority, chances are that you have to learn to live and work — with the painful symptoms of chronic mental health. For people suffering from symptoms of anxiety, sometimes just the “thought” of going in to work itself, can trigger a panic attack. So what do you do when you have no other alternative? You grin and you bear it — right? This is absolutely the worst thing you can do for your mental health.
We’ve learned this year that taking care of your mental health is just as important as taking care of your physical health. We also learned that workplace burnout is a real thing and now has an official diagnosis in the latest version of the AmericanPsychological Association’sDSM-5. Lack of either form of health care can cause debilitating physical and mental symptoms that only get worse over time — if left untreated. Work stressors are a leading factor in contributing to the negative effects of mental health symptoms for today’s employees. Some studies have even shown that people experience more medical episodes like panic attacks and heart attacks on Sunday evenings and Monday mornings at the beginning of the workweek.
Mental Health Care Is Becoming A Priority for Employers
Medical doctors, therapists, and mental health advocates are bringing mental health awareness to the forefront of medicine and making it a priority. According to Inc. magazine, top companies are taking notice and making better mental health care a priority. Big brands like Starbucks have spoken openly about making changes to improve their mental health care. There have even been legal standards created to assure that people who suffer from chronic mental health issues have access to the same mental health and medical health benefits via their health insurance providers. These regulations fall under the MentalHealth Parity Act.
The Effects of Workplace Stressors on Mental Health
We are just beginning to learn that the effects of traumatic experiences in our lives can contribute to the development of complicated mental health issues like complex post-traumatic stress disorder (C-PTSD). It may surprise you to learn that exposure to traumatic experiences isn’t limited to our personal and private lives. Traumatic experiences can also happen in the workplace. When issues that affect employees’ welfare or mental health state are left unaddressed, complex mental health issues can develop as a result. The following are examples of workplace issues that can contribute to the development of chronic mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, and workplaceburnout.
Workplace conditions that can contribute to mental health decline or burnout:
Underemployment / Low Pay
Working a full-time or part-time career and still being unable to cover living expenses (paycheck-to-paycheck) can take its toll on your psyche.
No Advancement Opportunities
People in positions where advancement is thwarted often experience negative mental health effects. Examples where this is common are “glass ceilings”, nepotism, sexism, and racism.
Contrary to popular belief working long hours with lack of breaks, sleep, or eating is not a recipe for success — It’s a recipe for burnout.
People who experience sexual harassment by a coworker, supervisor, manager, or company owner will probably experience high levels of anxiety.
Devalued Employees / Contractors
Employees often feel devalued when they have little or no access to proper equipment or training to complete their jobs.
The bottom line is — your mental health care is critically important to your overall well-being. (This is true both inside and outside the workplace.) When you’re preparing to set next year’s resolutions, be sure to put your mental health care at the top of your list. If you want to learn more about how mental health care is affecting people in the workplace (and where to get help) — subscribe to our newsletter to receive updates on our upcoming Mental Health in The Workplace series beginning in January 2020.
Wishing you the happiest of holidays and good mental health!
National Alliance on #MentalIllness: 1-800-950-NAMI (6264) ♥️♥️
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255 **live chat @800273TALK
— 🌠Writer. Marketer. Influencer. 😘🤓😏 (@msloydwrites) November 29, 2019
Upcoming Mental Health In The Workplace Topics (2020)
Mental Health Parity Act (For Employers and Employees)
Online Therapy Options for Rural, Remote, and Telecommuting Employees
Learn How to Create A Work Environment That Promotes Good Mental Health
Medical Health vs. Mental Health Care — Which is More Important?