Mental Health Awareness

Mental health is not only crucial for a long, healthy life and to improve your well-being but will help you improve productivity at your workplace too.

According to the World Health Organisation, mental health is a state of well-being in which the individual realises his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to his or her community.

Common mental health problems include stress, anxiety, depression, inconsistent behaviour and more. They can happen to anyone no matter how rich or poor. How do you tell? You may feel an intense dread for work the next day, a loss of appetite, lethargy or you may even cry yourself to sleep. However, some of these could be passing phases due to a certain event and may be dealt with without the need to consult a specialist, which will cause you a bomb and perhaps more unhappiness.

Companies and their human resource policies can help a big deal by improving conditions at work – as simple as lighting issues or having more days of leave – or implementing a certain culture such as not talking about work during lunch breaks or in the pantry. Or better, the company may take the lead in promoting good mental health practices for employees.

One example would be helping employees cope with the increasingly rapid changes in the market now. With developments such as automation and technology, workers – especially the older and less malleable ones – are facing tremendous pressure to keep up and conform to the new basic requirements. Hence, by taking actions such as sending them to relevant courses or assuring and encouraging them, it would help employees deal with the new daunting challenge.

Sexual harassment and discrimination are two other potential causes for mental health issues. So, by addressing the company's stand and enforcing it strictly, the minorities may be relieved from unnecessary impediments at work.

Even if you do not suffer from any mental health problem at present, it is good to highlight to the higher management the importance of well-being and health to employees' productivity. For example, consequences of mental health problems in the workplace are absenteeism, poor work performance in terms of productivity, output and accurancy, bad attitude and behaviour as well as strained relationships at work.

Prevention is better than cure and, by sharing, on top of cultivating a better work environment, you are helping to reduce the social costs that may arise from mental health problems too!

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