Anticipating the Future: Starting Conversations About Mental Health in the Workplace

Are you having conversations about Mental Health?

Man, oh man – things have been completely upside-down, topsy-turvy so far this year. It’s no wonder that we hear more about the topic of mental health than we ever have in recent years. While the mentions may be piling up now and people are becoming more candid about their journey through mental health, this is by no means a new issue. Many more of us are experiencing it openly together as we are all struggling through this uncharted territory, so now is the best time to address it in your workplace. 

The value of mental health awareness in the workplace is incredibly vital to your productivity and success as a business, so start evaluating how you currently handle those conversations and education and where you can improve your process. Does you team feel comfortable coming to you about these struggles? Are you centered on not only being aware, but being capable of providing resources and tools to help your team manage their work and mental health as best they care? The following list can help act as a guide for getting that conversation started in your workplace. 

1. Demonstrate Compassion

Above all, bring compassion and empathy into the workplace. When co-workers see that you’re motivated by profit only, they don’t feel like their mental health is valued. On the other hand, when people feel free to be their best selves, profit and productivity are often positive side effects.

As we’ve become more affluent, we’ve separated ourselves from one another, building bigger houses and leaning into isolation. It’s easy to stay in our bubbles — cubes and offices — and then go home and sit in our apartments alone. But the more we can encourage human connection within the workplace, the more we can regain that healthy tribal mentality.

2. Bring in Experts

Speak up and suggest to invite a guest who can speak to mental health, or someone who has gone through similar issues, whether in a training capacity or on a weekly basis. Even the most high-functioning people suffer sometimes, especially in creative industries. And when they do, companies face consequences. To encourage mental health discussions, consider calling in a therapist four days a month to hold confidential discussions with employees.

3. Set an Example, Discreetly

When talking about mental health in the workplace, it’s important to know that it’s not about airing dirty laundry. It’s about setting an example — simply raising your hand and saying, “I’m struggling, too.”

4. Share Resources

From the National Suicide Prevention Hotline to apps like Talkspace that provide options for people to discuss mental health issues, there are many additional resources to turn to, and it’s important that employees know about them. App-based communities like Huddle, are available for people to post questions and get answers from the community about personal topics.

Above all, remember that these are universal struggles. So open up, raise your hand and make the first move, because you’re not alone.

Why Support Is Key to Working Through Struggles

Within the work environment, there’s a pressure to perform, to excel, and to be perfect. And all of that is simply not realistic. It’s not about making excuses; it’s about helping people feel supported and safe so they can excel at their jobs. There is a need for a space where you can throw your hand up when something isn’t right and get help. As a business owner, every day provides another unique opportunity for you to do that. 

Start Dreaming Your Next Business Move

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