The responsibility of the company when talking Mental Health
“With the endless list of benefits to the organisation to ensure a mentally fit working environment, even an increase in profit margins, it most certainly pays to consider what your organisation is doing to be part of the solution.”
Most companies know that a mentally healthy workforce is linked to less absenteeism, reduced medical costs and increased employee performance. All of which are good for business. However with the World Health Organization listing mental health as a top priority due to the number of people around the world that suffer mental health issues, you’d be surprised to know how rarely such common issues are discussed in the workplace.
99FM’s MYD Smart sat down with Coen Welsh, an Industrial Psychologist from Capacity Trust, to find out what the role is of an organisation in dealing with staff members who are suffering mental health issues such as depression. Coen explains that “The reality is that people who suffer from depression often suffer in silence, either not knowing that they have depression or being too ashamed to tell people about it.”
Coen goes on to explain that “The additional challenge with mental health issues, is that they are such a personal thing. If people suffer from anxiety, depression of some kind of phobia they won’t talk about it or seek help. They will often blame it on themselves; ignore the signs or what we call “self-medicate” using drugs or alcohol to escape the daily discomfort associated with the issue”
When asked where the responsibility lies within the organisation if the organistation has employees with mental health issues such as depression, Coen explains that “In theory mental health issues, including depression, should be treated in a similar fashion as any physical injury. In other words allowing time off from work for the injury to heal and possibly compensation if the injury was caused by the company.”
Sadly, without a finalised and updated Mental Health Act to protect individuals and ensure their protection in the workplace, such protections are not always legally enforced. However with the endless list of benefits to the organisation to ensure a mentally fit working environment, even an increase in profit margins, it most certainly pays to consider what your organisation is doing to be part of the solution.
As outlined by Capacity Trust’s article on “What employers Can Do to maintain or improve employees mental health”, the benefits of considering the mental health of your employees includes employees that are:
- More productive
- More loyal
- Less likely to take time off
- More likely to stay with your organisation
- Recommend your company as a good place to work at
The article goes on to say that “In the long run small investments can reduce your costs and become a competitive advantage for your organisation. Therefore, start investing in your employees’ mental health today!”
Take a look here for the full article by Capacity Trust on What employers Can Do to maintain or improve employees mental health