How to Reduce Mental Health Stigmas in the Workplace

Mental Health Stigmas

Mental health difficulties are as common as they are poorly addressed. Mental health unwellness is often misunderstood. Severe depression or other intense symptoms are vaguely recognized as challenging, and then subsequently kept at arm’s length. Jackson mental health counseling helps you to overcome the problems brought on by low self-esteem, stress, anxiety, and fear of the future.

Other, more common symptoms, like anxiety, mild depression, or addiction, are ignored entirely until the issue reaches a boiling point. Naturally, this is disastrous for the person and the healthcare system that will eventually receive them.

Stigma is the culprit. Many people are touched by mental health afflictions, either personally or through a relationship. By reducing stigma and giving these people a recourse to discuss problems, outcomes improve, and workplaces become more hospitable to the general population.

Understanding Stigma

First, it’s worth mentioning that stigma is not necessarily a conspiracy against the mentally unwell. In fact, it might exist within the patient’s mind. A person with anxiety, for example, may feel uncomfortable bringing it to a coworker or employer’s attention for fear of being misunderstood.

It can also happen at the public level. Said coworkers or employers may in fact feel that anxiety (or whatever the affliction may be) is odd, and not to be discussed within the workplace.

Even more probable, however, is that this stigma is taking place at an institutional level. In other words, no one is actively conspiring against mental health, but the machinations of the average workplace are nevertheless not conducive towards it.

Tight deadlines, long hours, and a company culture that prioritizes work outcomes over personal wellness can all contribute to an environment that is poor for mental health. Difficult jobs like nursing are also strongly associated with mental health issues.

The Americans with Disabilities Act prohibits discrimination against employees with mental health issues. However, without making active efforts towards mental wellness, discrimination can occur inadvertently.

Recognize the Problem

Businesses that want to reduce mental health stigmas can begin by recognizing the problem. In fact, this has become trendy in recent years. By emphasizing “company culture” many businesses make a point of telling the public that they care more about their workers than they do the work they accomplish.

Whatever the stigma, identifying it is the first step towards making a significant and impactful change.

Shifting Perceptions

Once the issue has been identified, attitudes towards mental health and wellness should be shifted towards openness. Many people who suffer from addiction, anxiety, or depression fear that they will be judged if their issue comes to light.

Businesses may reduce this fear by emphasizing an environment of openness. This could mean regular office meetings that discuss and address common workplace-driven mental health issues. It could also mean establishing an environment where employees feel comfortable discussing things that go beyond projects and deadlines.

Avoid Employ Burnout

Businesses that say they care about mental health but don’t act like it aren’t doing their employees any good. While creating an environment geared towards openness and acceptance is a good first step, it won’t produce significant results without other more tangible adjustments.

By experimenting with conditions that are conducive to reducing stress, workplaces show that they sincerely care about mental health. This could mean shorter hours, more reasonable deadlines, four-day workweeks, relaxed dress codes, and other measures that recognize employee humanity.

Not only do these measures make employees feel seen but they are also conducive to improved productivity.

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