Workplace Mental Health Stigma – No. 1 Best Information

mental health stigma in the workplace
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The need to treat mental health in the workplace is becoming more and more vital. Even if discussions and understanding about mental health have generally changed for the better in recent years, stigma around mental illness still lingers. Stigma, or unfavourable attitudes and discrimination, toward mental health is a severe problem, particularly at work. It frequently makes it difficult for workers to get the care they require. Given that 79% of workers are more inclined to stick with a company that offers top-notch resources for mental health treatment, Mental health issues left untreated can result in decreased output, missing workdays, and a high turnover rate. This indicates that stigma associated with mental health in the workplace affects both employees and employers.

What is Mental Health Stigma in the Workplace? 

Discrimination against workers who have mental health disorders is known as workplace mental health stigma. It may show itself in a variety of ways, such as a worker feeling uncomfortable seeking treatment for depression or anxiety out of concern for their future employment. In certain instances, workers may even conceal their mental health issues out of concern that they would not be considered for promotions. Stigma can result from deliberate or unintentional prejudice. According to several studies, stigma surrounding mental illness may play a significant role in the underuse of workplace healthcare services. By addressing the stigma surrounding mental illness in the workplace, all employees may feel safer and more connected.

Why is Mental Health Stigma in the Workplace a Problem?  

Of all groups, those with mental health disorders may experience the greatest level of job discrimination. 22,843 claims of disability discrimination were filed with the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in 2021. Employees who are afraid of being treated unfairly or rejected tend to keep their feelings to themselves and refrain from seeking help.

The majority of employees prefer to keep their mental health concerns to themselves, even in progressive and friendly workplaces. When workplace culture doesn’t provide a feeling of acceptance and support for mental health, stigma in the workplace is particularly problematic. Due to their mental health issues, employees may experience discrimination or worry about their reputation or losing their jobs. 28% of workers have changed employers in the last five years for their mental well-being.

The Cost of Not Addressing Mental Health Stigma 

Since it serves as a barrier to receiving mental healthcare, workplace mental health stigma has a large financial cost. According to a 2019 World Economic Forum prediction, between 2011 and 2030, mental health issues would cost countries $16.3 trillion (AHA CEO Roundtable.) Stigma may harm your business by fostering an atmosphere in which staff members who have mental health issues adopt unfavourable perceptions, lose confidence in their abilities, or even refrain from taking on new responsibilities out of a fear of failing.

Due to the fact that these costs are often indirect, mental health is frequently neglected when discussing workplace budgets. High turnover rates from workers who have mental health issues but are not addressed or treated are a cost of employee burnout. Reducing the stigma associated with mental illness may aid in the treatment of mental health issues.

There is evidence that physical and mental health are related. It has been shown that spending money on mental health care is cost-effective. Employees with untreated mental illnesses are more likely to develop physical illnesses like diabetes and heart disease. Eliminating the stigma associated with mental illness promotes an emotionally secure workplace where workers may look after all aspects of their health.

To further the discussion on workplace mental health and work toward establishing a safer, stigma-free environment, request a demo right now.

How to Address Stigma in the Workplace   

There are a few tactics that organisations may use to develop organisational resilience in response to workplace stigma, even if treating mental health problems is a complex issue for people. Leaders should create policies that support workers with mental health issues and provide services for those who may need help. In order to assist people who are struggling with mental health concerns, the Center for Workplace Mental Health recommends a programme that provides three phases. Determine the indications of distress first, then connect with the distressed individual, and then work together to determine a course of action.

Special rules and regulations need to be created once you’ve determined which tactics will work best for your organisation. Establish communication procedures that take into account workers’ knowledge of stigma and safety in relation to mental health and their awareness of it. Employees might feel understood if you communicate your efforts to eradicate stigma at work clearly. This increases confidence, promotes staff retention, and sends a favourable message.

Ensure that everyone in the organisation is aware of the resources at their disposal. This involves picking the best employee perks for mental health and clearly stating how to use them. This aids in lowering the price of underutilised benefits. The stigma associated with mental health is lessened and a healthy workplace may flourish when leadership, management, and employees can all communicate with a same supportive and welcoming message.

How to Encourage Employees to Come Forward 

How can you create a climate where workers feel secure and supported in speaking out given the effects of mental health stigma? Managers and supervisors are in a unique position to identify the warning signs and symptoms of employee discomfort and respond to them by focusing on their strengths. Instead than attempting to diagnose or “cure” a person, strength-based strategies concentrate on highlighting and improving what is already being done successfully. Positive strategies encourage interaction and access to well-known workplace resources.

In a private poll, 40% of workers said they wanted their managers and supervisors educated to recognise signs of emotional discomfort in staff. You are in a position to aid an employee’s rehabilitation process as a dependable leader. Give a worker your undivided attention when they raise worries about their mental health. Employers may assist their team by being aware of internal resources, getting treatment sooner, and improving their mental health by being attentive and encouraging.

Download our Modern Belonging Part Two guidebook, which provides useful insights and advice for addressing mental health stigma in the workplace, if you’d want to learn more about lowering stigma related to mental health in the workplace.

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