Mental Wellness. "The ability to maintain positive mental health by incorporating practices that sustain a person’s well-being". Dr. Indigo Triplett goes on to say, "This is accomplished through a variety of means such as appropriate medication, therapy, exercise, nutritional diet, rest/sleep, meditation, healthy thoughts, relationships, and so forth".
Did you know that mental health conditions can affect employee engagement? Interestingly, not only does it affect the employee with the mental health condition, it can often affect those around that employee. Think it doesn't affect your business? You are wrong. As a matter of fact, 1 in 4 Americans experience a mental illness, on some level, each year. This adds up $63 billion in lost productivity due to mental illness.
Workplace wellness has certainly become mainstream but often doesn't allow adequate access to mental wellness resources. EAP's are great; however, for an employee to reach out that means they are admitting something is wrong. Often times your employee is fearful that his or her job might be in jeopardy or it may be considered a sign of weakness in some professions. -Rather than rely on your employees to seek help when they are already stressed or depressed, why not focus on mental wellness. In addition to Dr. Triplett's suggestions, mental wellness can be supported in the workplace with a wellness program that focuses on fitness, healthy eating, stress management, friendships, and work-life balance. Each of these components are critical to mental wellness which in return will provide a more engaged workforce. After all, an unhealthy work environment is bad for employees. Did you know that right now, one-third of your employees are unhappy and 70% of employed people are searching for a new job? Being unhappy at work takes a toll on our health. Studies show that the key to job satisfaction is a healthy work environment and a healthy workforce.
Supporting mental wellness on a variety of levels will allow those with a mental health condition to be better prepared to handle work stressors and other everyday life factors. They will be better employees and have a more positive effect on those around them. Additionally, I suggest making sure that the typical stigma around mental illness is avoided so those who need help or want to reach out feel comfortable and supported in doing so.