Those of us who’ve worked in the corporate world are used to hearing terms related to mental health being thrown around – usually to describe nothing more than a bad day at the office.
How many of us have used terms like … “I’m having a meltdown”, “I’m going nuts here”, “My head is going to burst”, “It’s mentally draining”? There are many more, I know – because I used them once. I lived in the corporate world of believed stress, of perceived ‘breakdowns’ and ‘meltdowns’ and terminology that the world as it stands today is coming to an end.
The trouble is … for some, the world as they know it DOES come to an end.
For some of your colleagues today in the workplace that ‘meltdown’ will happen for real. For them it won’t be a throw-away phrase used to mean a bad day. Their mental illness will change their lives, and those around them for a very long time, if not forever. The question is how will your company deal with it?
Let’s look at some stats:
Corporate stigma about Mental Health issues is very real.
There is a critical misunderstanding of mental wellbeing in the workplace and a deep nervousness, worry, and ignorance of how to deal with it. This must change quickly. As the world around us develops the knowledge of our leaders must develop quickly to deal with it.
I look back with horror and a little humor at some of the comments, ideas, words and phrases used to try and help me cope during my mental breakdown in my corporate bubble … stigma absolutely! I know, I’ve been there I’ve bought the t-shirt. Thankfully, my breakdown was a new beginning and I now make my living helping employers get healthy – and no, I don’t mean ’employees’. In my opinion, when an organisation doesn’t support their teams, leaders, managers, and people on mental wellbeing – it’s the organisation that needs help – and fast.
There is of course a need for individuals to get support in the workplace if they are suffering from a mental illness – but the focus then is on helping the employee after they ‘become sick’. By becoming a wellbeing-focused employer instead, situations don’t escalate, staff are supported and the company regains control. Organisations see multiple benefits … in terms of people, performance, and profits.
So how do sick employers get better? Here’s just some of the strategies I’ve seen work in practice:
An external professional who specialises in this area will be able to offer help with all of the above.
Investing ahead of a critical event like the one I experienced will save employers time, performance and cost later. More importantly, it shows you are a responsible, caring employer, who understands the link between mental wellbeing, responsible employment and the bottom line.
Written by - Andrew Tamplin | Canna Consulting
Date - 13/04/2017