How “Mental Health Friendly” is Your Employer?

Mental health at work Living Health Day SpaEach year, October 10th is World Mental Health Day – a day set aside by the World Health Organization (WHO) to focus on the greater issues around mental health. They seek to encourage mental health professionals to raise their voices in support of creating more awareness and a deeper understanding of how we can all achieve better mental health.

This year’s theme is Mental Health in the Workplace. As adults, many of us spend the majority of our time at work – often amid a great deal of stress. Depression and anxiety, common mental disorders associated with high-stress lifestyles, have a negative impact on our ability to work productively and maintain good physical health.

According to the WHO, more than 300 million people suffer from depression globally, making depression the leading cause of disability. More than 260 million are living with anxiety disorders. And there is a significant overlap of people struggling to live with both.

How big of an impact does mental health have on the workplace? A recent WHO-led study estimates that depression and anxiety disorders cost the global economy the equivalent of $1 trillion (US) each year in lost productivity due to poor performance and increased absenteeism.

The WHO encourages employers to put positive mental health initiatives in place to help serve the needs of their employees, and it’s a good idea. The National Alliance on Mental Illness says one in five Americans has some form of mental illness, which means 20 percent of those you work with may be affected!

Common company-based programs range from stress reduction and substance abuse to grief counseling and relationship issues. Human beings can’t “check their emotions at the door”. We are “feeling” creatures. Our emotions are part of who we are… not something we can turn on and off as the situation warrants.

Such programs have been shown to be good for a company’s bottom line – but even more important – very beneficial to the overall health of employees. Employees feel valued and “seen” when the company has programs in place that honor the fact that we are “people”, not just a body behind a desk. Employees are more loyal, dedicated, and feel more positive about their work environment. And a positive work environment is good for everyone!

If you own a local business, or are employed by a company that would benefit from including more employee mental health services, reach out to us! Massage and Aromatherapy are wonderful ways to help reduce stress, address many health concerns, and build a more positive work environment. We have several options for on-site or in-spa corporate packages.