April also brings awareness to the serious impacts of stress on our bodies during National Stress Awareness Month.
It’s no secret: The last few years have been incredibly stressful, and those effects are being felt in the workplace. According to a survey on mental health at work conducted by Lyra Health, most workers have faced mental health struggles at some point during their careers — with 86% of those surveyed having faced at least one mental health challenge in the last year alone. Despite that high figure, only 33% reported receiving mental health support within that same timeframe. Many of those surveyed also indicated that work-related stress and burnout had impacted their ability to do their jobs.
It’s critical not only for employers to recognize what stress and anxiety look like in the workforce, but also to take steps to reduce unnecessary stress — allowing employees to enjoy a happier, healthier (and more productive) time on-the-clock. According to Mental Health America, employers can create a mentally healthier workplace by ensuring that workers feel valued and supported in a positive work environment, with respect to the other aspects of their employees’ lives.
To reduce stress in the workplace, MHA suggests:
- maintaining a productive atmosphere, giving employees a clean, functional and well-lit space to work. It’s important to foster good working relationships with all staff members, including superiors, so that workers feel respected, appreciated, incentivized and rewarded for good work. Ensure the workplace is free of any signs of intimidation, bullying, harassment and/or fear.
- providing a living wage to encourage workers to stay committed to the job.
- offering reasonable accommodations to staff who may have physical or mental disabilities. This can mean anything from changes to the physical work space and schedule to reliable access to assistive technology or other health services.
- keeping an open line of communication with workers. Being transparent with employees contributes to a more energetic and productive workforce, where all employees can feel invested in the company.
- holding all levels of employees accountable, when necessary, to keep the team together. It takes two to make a healthy workplace, and both supervisors and their employees have to be willing to support each other to get the job done. Consider allowing employees to provide anonymous work-related feedback.
- ensuring a positive work/life balance for employees. In an age when technology gives us the option to connect to the workplace around the clock, it’s important to let employees know that it’s OK to unplug at the end of the day.
- providing clear and positive values to let workers know what your organization stands for (or what it doesn’t stand for). Be transparent about any behaviors your company will and won’t support, and hold all workers to those outlined values to ensure everyone is on the same page.
How Mercy Mindful can help
Mercy Occupational Medicine understands the need for accessible, affordable mental healthcare in Western North Carolina, which is why we are pleased to now offer mental health services through our Mercy Mindful program.
Mercy Mindful can provide your employees with the care they need to manage stress, including psychiatric evaluations and medication management for depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder, PTSD, eating disorders and substance abuse. We also provide trauma-informed care and referrals for specialized testing, if appropriate.
Mercy Mindful appointments are available to patients 16 and older by request or referral at our West Asheville location. To learn more about how Mercy Mindful can help your company, contact Jon Medin at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 828.252.3443.