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Mental Health In The WorkPlace – When Corporate Initiatives Are Not Enough

Within 7 days at any given time about 1/2 million employees in Canada call in sick due to mental health.  Issues run from anxiety, depression to simple burn out due to high demands on the job.  Many employees dealing with mental health often are present in the workforce but not fully present in their job performance, that increases the stress onto them especially when other employees and employers are not aware of the mental health deterioration and ignorance come into play by stating to the employee that they either, not performing their duties, threats of demotion, threats of layoffs. A vicious cycle that has a high risk of increasing mental health deterioration in the workplace.

 

Many organizations and agencies have brought forth the conversation of mental health, yet some even most are often a quick fix to ensure that employees remain to do the job without organizations paying out for sick leave.  In the Mental Health Profession we often say that not one size fits all, so why are we allowing organizations to advertise Mental Health this way to their employees?! For example promoting yoga as a mental health wellness to all employees may temporarily assist to their own mental health but not all would fit into this category. An individualized approach is a far better way to deal with mental health in the workplace and a far better outcome than a band-aid affect.  For instance, no two employees would recover the same way from a mental health trauma. Everyone heals differently.

 

So how do we approach individualized Mental Health assistance in the Workplace? It is simple. Like any physical injury, we ensure the employee that they will receive help where it seems fit to their needs without judgement, or alterations of their job description. According to Mental Health Commission of Canada, states that about 30 percent of short term and long term disability claims are based on mental health issues and illnesses. With an individualized approach an employee may feel like they are being heard instead of giving them a corporate plan of what they need to do to better their mental health with risking their job.  Non-judgement is essential in mental health in the workplace, it is only then we can help our employees feel safe to speak about their own mental health crisis. THIS IS HOW WE HEAL!!