24 May Normalizing Mental Health Management in the Workplace
It is hard to be vulnerable in the workplace, as employees are always supposed to provide their “best” selves. The stigma surrounding mental health leaves employees unwilling to share any problems they are having or admitting to their employer that they need help.
Mental health has been an ongoing conversation in recent years, but now with the stress of the pandemic, mental health awareness is more crucial than ever. The Ontario Human Rights Code protects employees with a mental illness from discrimination, but it is up to the employers to promote preventive and supportive measures to make sure employees are happy and comfortable at work.
What can the employer do to limit the stigma and promote mental health care?
It is important to note that most of these measures can be implemented online. It is crucial that employers do not stop talking about mental health solely because of remote working conditions. Employees will be responding to the pandemic in many different ways, and they should be aware that if they need it, a positive support system is always there.
Employers can do the following things surrounding mental health programs and practices:
- Be open about mental health. This can be in the form of completing monthly check-ins for all employees.
- Continuous conversations about mental health care. Workplaces that are reluctant to talk about mental health care are 23% more likely to have increased mental health issues at work. Mental health resources should be a never-ending conversation.
- The participation of all employees, such as managers, to create an open culture across the board.
- Reassure employees that taking mental health days off is acceptable and greatly supported. This can be achieved by not requiring a doctor’s note to take time off, instead, trust that employees know their own minds and bodies and accept that people will need rest days.
- Pay close attention to shifts in attitude. Because mental health is greatly stigmatized, employees will often be disinclined to share that they are experiencing mental health issues. If the employer notices any changes, approach the employee in a supportive way and provide any resources that they may need.
- Ensure that the resources provided to employees are up-to-date and relevant to the current workplace culture.
- Make sure that mental health resources are as accessible as possible.
- Guarantee that information surrounding mental health will remain confidential.
- Maintaining a positive attitude pertaining to all mental health matters. Mental health awareness should be recognized as something that is improving an employee’s capability and productiveness.
- Display vulnerability and show all employees that they are not alone.
If you have any further questions about mental health care in the workplace or policies and programs that are necessary for a safe work environment, please contact KCY at LAW by filling in an online consultation request or contact us by phone at 905-639-0999 to book your consultation today.