Supporting Mental Health
Issues specific to the work environment, such as burnout, stress over job security, the repetitive nature of certain work and the lack of career opportunities, among others, can negatively impact an individual’s mental health.
From an organisational point of view, there is a compelling managerial, economic and ethical case for providing employees with mental health support:
Mental health issues can have a significant impact on employee productivity and performance.
Mental health issues can lead to absenteeism and ‘presenteeism’ (being present at work but unable to function fully), which can negatively impact an organisation’s bottom line.
Organisations may choose to address employee mental health and well-being through many initiatives. These include providing mental health awareness training for employees and managers, offering confidential counselling and support services, and implementing policies and procedures to support employees with mental health issues.
In and of themselves, such initiatives may appear beneficial. However, they are often little more than a ‘one-size-fits-all’ activity that serves more as an organisation’s talking point than an effective tool for individuals’ well-being.
As is usually the case, the lack of overall effectiveness of mental health and well-being initiatives in the workplace is due more to the absence (or scalability) of professional resources and the tools available to employers and employees. Current workplace mental health platforms do not predict risk for individual employees or personalised interventions.