MEB Resources | News & Tips

Mental Illness in the Workplace

July 16th, 2015 · No Comments

Did you know that according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), nearly one in twenty-five adults in America live with a serious mental illness?  How does this information affect you?  It’s quite simple actually.  This means the people you associate with every day – your employees, co-workers, managers, bosses and/or customers may be suffering from a mental illness.  Granted, it’s not your job or responsibility to diagnose or treat an issue (unless you’re a licensed professional of course), but as an HR professional, manager or business owner, you can certainly contribute to a healthy workplace.  Here are a few tips on how:

  • Allow employees to maintain a work/life balance by limiting the amount of work that needs to be done outside of the office so when an employee is off work, they can concentrate on family time.
  • Reduce the amount of overtime by distributing work as evenly as possible and encourage employees to speak up if they feel as if they don’t have enough time to meet a deadline during working hours. If overtime is needed (or required), recognize and reward the extra effort.
  • Offer resources for mental health services. This doesn’t mean you need to have a doctor on staff, but you could provide information through employee educational and referral programs, website address(es) or even a 800 number that employees can call for more information. Asking for help can be difficult, but for those suffering from a mental illness, it can feel nearly impossible.
  • Speak the way you would like to be spoken to. There’s no reason to be harsh or belittling to people, and keep in mind that some people can be way more sensitive than others.

Mental health can be costly for employers but by providing a healthy workplace you can improve an employee’s commitment and motivation, as well as reduce absenteeism and safety issues.  Interested in more information on this issue?  Feel free to contact us!


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