October 10th marks World Mental Health Day each year. It was first celebrated in 1992 by the initiative of the World Federation for Mental Health which makes it the 25th anniversary of the event. The objective of the day is to raise awareness of mental health issues around the world and to generate efforts in supporting mental health. This year’s theme is mental health in the workplace.
Mental health issues have been shown to increase the rate of employee absences, lower the rates of productivity, and increase costs for companies. Because a large part of our adult lives is spent in the workplace, our experience at work is a factor in our overall wellbeing. Employers that work to promote mental health and support employees with mental health disorders will see improvements not only in the mental health of their employees, but also their productivity. While employers who don’t work to promote good mental health in the workplace may find that not only mental and physical problems may arise, but also decreased productivity as well.
By following a few guidelines, an employer can be committed to the wellbeing of his/her employees.
- Building mental health awareness and reducing stigma
- Identifying signs of burnout in employees
- Providing mental health support for employees
- Providing stress management
- Appreciating employees and their work
- Creating a supportive environment
A workplace environment can be adapted to promote better mental health for its employees. The strategies should include prevention, early identification, as well as support and rehabilitation. World Mental Health Day can be the start of your company raising awareness of mental health. A healthy workplace benefits employees and employers alike!
Lori Atkinson, Operations Assistant for The Kim Foundation
Lori Atkinson joined The Kim Foundation in May 2015 as an Operations Assistant. She received her Bachelor’s Degree from UNL in Middle Level Education. She was an 8th grade English teacher in the Omaha Public Schools for ten years and started a small non-profit in her husband’s memory in 2010. Lori assists with many of the day-to-day tasks for The Kim Foundation which includes scheduling presentations in the community, coordinating booths at conferences, attending mental health trainings, researching mental illness/suicide, and working community events. Lori is the proud mom of three children and is actively involved in her church.