“I need to meghan markle...”
“You need what?”
Not so long ago, the world was shaken by the surprising news when the Duke and Duchess of Sussex decided to step down from their royal duties. Why did they do it? To take care of their mental well-being. It was nothing but an easy decision, and it definitely deserves respect. Meghan decided not to bet on her mental health. Shortly after, The Guardian announced about a new verb that was created – “to meghan markle” – “to value yourself and your mental health enough to up and leave a room / situation / environment in which your authentic self is not welcomed or wanted”.
What Is Mental Health?
The human life is a forest, and mental issues are deadwood. If you do not clear out the deadwood, it will cause a huge forest fire.
The pace of life is growing, and it is getting more and more complicated to cope with the psychoemotional load. The state of chronic stress is becoming a norm for modern-day people. It affects the performance of neural networks, which can result in the development of mental disorders.
World Health Organization defines mental health as “a state of well-being in which the individual realizes his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to his or her community”.
A lot has been said about mental health during 2020 World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. What is surprising, even some exact numbers were named. In particular, Elisha London, the founder and CEO of United for Global Mental Health, said that, to solve the global mental health crisis, it is necessary to invest $1 billion.
It is estimated that, by 2030, corporate mental health expenses will have reached $16 trillion. Depression will become the third most common illness in countries with low income and the second most common illness in developed states.
Why to Care About Mental Health of Your Employees?
There is an increasing amount of data in the field of corporate mental health. A lot of companies implement mental health support programs for their employees. According to an American Heart Association survey, 76 percent of employees claim that they have experienced at least one mental health issue. Three out of ten employees experience at least one instance of mental disorder in one year. Each year, 91 million working days around the world are wasted because of mental health disorders that employees suffer from.
In general, according to WHO, 450 million people currently suffer from mental health disorders, and this number grows with each passing year.
So, we have to understand that, each day we meet and interact with people who may feel miserable, anxious, insecure, or scared. These people wear an invisible backpack, which does not let them be productive and happy, enjoy working, and bring value to the society. We can see a person wearing cast and understand that their arm is in pain. We can see a person with fever and understand that they feel weak. And yet, it is so rare that we notice that invisible backpack.
Your colleague is late for work because she suffers from obsessive-compulsive disorder and checks 18 times whether she turned off the tap and touches the door lock 25 times. A business analyst, who sits in front of you and cannot finish that report, is ruminating on her life, and instead of analytic thoughts, she has an obsessively anxious idea. A sales manager does not show stellar results as he used to because chronic stress burned him out and he lost the feeling of sense, the motivation to work. He cannot lead others as successfully as he used to. A developer, who seems like a joyful guy, a source of funny jokes, suffers from suicidal thoughts and does not tell anyone about that. An HR manager leaves his workplace and runs somewhere only because he suffers from panic attacks.
How to Care About Mental Health of Your Employees?
It is actually so important to notice people beside you. Pay attention to them, ask sincerely how they are doing, be empathetic. “Hey, how is your mood today?”. “Are you sleeping well?”. “Can I help you somehow?”. “Let me know if anything bothers you, alright?”. These questions are so simple but so powerful – they have the potential to save lives.
Company owners should understand that their business is going to be by many times more profitable, prosperous, and socially responsible if they take care of the mental well-being of their employees.
The happiness of an employee translates into high performance and productivity.
The psychological climate in the team, the quality of interpersonal relationships have an immense impact on a worker and on the team in general.
The US Department of Health & Human Services has published a set of recommendations as for how to create a mental-health-friendly working environment. These recommendations include:
Being open to all candidates when hiring them;
Ensuring healthcare, which covers mental health issues as well as physical health;
Developing programs and practices, which support people’s health and life-work balance;
Training managers and supervisors on the matters of corporate mental health;
Ensuring the safety and confidentiality of employees’ health information;
Supporting employees who need medical help;
Ensuring decent end of collaboration in case the employee needs to quit.
How We Take Care About Mental Health at KeenEthics?
Caring for the well-being of our employees is a part of our ethical strategy. We have a position of mental health officer in our company. We have invested in training such a professional, who would be able to conduct mental health screening and identify problematic spots. Also, KeenEthics carries out regular educational events on psychotherapy and destigmatization. Besides that, we have a small library of psychotherapeutic books and brochures and a database of reliable psychotherapy experts, whom we can recommend to our employees in the time of need. Our internal one-to-one meetings are now embedded with a bit of mental care.
I have personally carried out a training session on mindfulness, and I plan a series of workshops on resilience, emotional stability, stress management, and burnout prevention. There is also a plan to establish a room for psychoemotional reload, where a person will be able to change the dynamics of open space to a calm and cozy environment.
A happy person is a successful worker.
What Can You Do to Take Care of Your Own Mental Health?
A great piece of practical advice on mental health care, which would totally change your life, should be here. And yet, there won’t be. Here is why.
Each mental issue or disorder is unique. You would not cure a broken leg and a food poisoning with the same treatment, would you? In the same way, you cannot cure depression and obsessive-compulsive disorder with one health practice.
A lot of people believe in the mindfulness practice, and I do to. I enjoy the feeling of being present here and now, and I coach people to learn to experience the same state. Also, there are a lot of mindfulness apps on the web for you to master this practice. However, for a person suffering from depression or from panic attacks, mindfulness will not help. More than that, it will hurt. It will serve as a trigger and only complicate the person’s condition further.
The one and only piece of advice I can give you is to seek professional help as soon as you feel that something goes wrong with your mental well-being. As soon as you experience intrusive, obsessive, anxious thoughts, as soon as you have thoughts about harming yourself, you should address a mental health expert.
To help you monitor your mood and mental well-being, there are two helpful mobile applications I would like to recommend.
This app uses the principles and tools of Cognitive Behavior Therapy to help you improve your mood, identify and understand the nature of unhealthy thoughts, and track changes in your mental well-being over time. You can use it as both an individual practice and an extra measure along with the professional treatment. The greatest advantage of it is self-reflection – the ability to track and chart your mood daily. This application is available only for iOS.
What’s Up? uses the concepts and methods of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and Acceptance Commitment Therapy to help a person better understand oneself and deal with their mental issues. It offers different strategies to overcome negative thinking patterns, mood and habit tracking tools, breathing techniques, and positive thinking quotes. This application is available for both iOS and Android.
Do you have an idea for a mental health app?
Our healthcare software development team will gladly help you research and develop your idea.
To Wrap Up
You should think about what you think. Psychohygiene is as important as brushing your teeth in the morning. Pay attention to your feelings, emotions, mood is crucial. Sharing your thoughts and worries with friends and family, being not afraid to seek professional help can help you save control over your life.
Taking care of the mental well-being of your employees is as important as hiring the right candidates. It will help you reduce attrition, boost productivity, and create a stronger corporate culture. After all, people are the highest value you ever have.