Slowly but surely the stigma surrounding mental health is being broken, but Harvard Business Review found that nearly 60% of U.S. workers have never broached the topic of mental health at work. Given that work is a primary source of stress for many people, creating a culture of mental health awareness and acceptance in the workplace is vitally important. Here are 4 key steps for creating a company culture which supports mental health:
- Decide to have a conversation: If you or someone you know seems to be struggling at work, the first step is to reach out. Ask your coworkers (and yourself!) how they’re feeling and make it clear you are a resource for talking about these issues.
- Ask simple questions: It can be tough to initiate a conversation about mental health but start by asking small questions about how someone is feeling or how their day is going. Approach the situation as a friend, rather than a therapist.
- Set an example: Being open and honest at work creates a culture that invites others to do the same. Sharing your thoughts and feelings will give others the courage to share theirs.
- Engage an individual through the group: Bringing up the subject of mental health in a group setting can break the ice on talking about tough topics. Talking about these issues as a group can also reinforce that nobody is alone in struggling with mental health.
Creating a workplace that supports mental health through openness and honesty not only helps employees feel more supported at work, but will also make your team happier, healthier, and more productive at work.