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October 08, 2021

Mental Health and the Workplace

The Importance of Mental Health Awareness In The Workplace


As a company, you want to ensure your employees are well taken care of. Many companies have extensive health policies in place to always keep their employees’ physical well-being in check.


One often overlooked aspect, however, is mental health.


Why mental health and wellness in the workplace matters

Mental health conditions have steadily been rising both locally and globally. This is partly due to the increased awareness of it and accessibility to psychologists and psychiatrists. But a big factor is that our living conditions are also much more stressful now than they were decades ago. It is estimated that over 792 million people worldwide suffer from some form of mental health disorder, with females being diagnosed more than males. Even at this rate, mental health disorders are still greatly under-reported.


Depression is the most common mental health disorder in the Philippines and around the world. It is also one of the costliest illnesses. Employees who suffer from depression, whether diagnosed or not, have been found to miss out on work more or are generally less productive. 


Even when the root of the depression is not related to the workplace, it can still affect their performance. Workplace mental health is important in keeping employees happy, employee retention high, and productivity levels good.


How mental health affects the workplace

Mental health disorders have been found to affect the workplace in a number of ways. As mentioned earlier, mental health disorders have been linked to a decrease in production levels and job performance, but there’s more to these.


Mental illnesses can affect an employee’s relationship with their colleagues due to changes in their communication skills and levels.


According to a study by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), depression makes it more difficult for a person to complete their tasks. 1 in every 5 tasks is stalled or hampered because of difficulties that arise from depression. A 35% reduction in cognitive performance has also been reported.


How to promote mental health and wellbeing in the workplace

A big reason why mental health cases are still underreported or that people refuse to seek treatment for it is the stigma still that surrounds mental health issues to this day. As an employer, it is your responsibility to be open to your employees about mental health and to not cast judgment on those who are suffering from any conditions.


There are a number of things employers can do to support mental health.


1. Prioritize mental health

Employers can offer a mental health program that is designed to help identify and support individuals going through mental health crises. The program can also help employees communicate with those with mental disorders better and teach them how to provide the appropriate support.


2. Provide the necessary tools

Offer subsidized or free lifestyle coaching, counseling, or self-management sessions to your employees. 


3. Make mental health policies

Not a lot of workforces have set mental health policies. Let your employees know you value their mental health as much as their physical health by including adequate mental health coverage as one of their benefits. Make discussions on mental health an open and welcome topic in the workplace to destigmatize it and encourage those who need help to seek it.


Give mental health the importance it deserves. Protect your employees’ mental health with a comprehensive group insurance plan.


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