Test your knowledge about some of the approaches to workplace mental health issues found within this website.
Many people with mental health issues do not seek treatment because they fail to recognize the signs and symptoms or are too embarrassed to reach out for help. The majority of mental health conditions can be treated, allowing people to recover and lead normal, productive and satisfying lives.
There's nothing perplexing about what we need to do
Stigma and lack of awareness of mental health issues often prevent early identification and effective treatment. In the workplace, the attitude towards employees experiencing mental health issues such as depression and anxiety can be the defining difference between a workplace that is perceived to be committed to the mental health of its employees and one that is not.
What you can do:
Adapted from Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Developing a Stigma Reduction Initiative. SAMHSA Pub. No. SMA-4176. Rockville, MD: Center for Mental Health Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 2006.
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Understand where mental health related stigma lies and how it is experienced in your workplace. The best way to accomplish this, is through an employee poll or survey. While every organization is different, some concerns may be:
It's important that you invest enough time and effort preparing and implementing the survey as it will be the basis of your stigma awareness plan.
Create a plan to address stigma in general as well as the particular findings of your stigma awareness survey.
So now that you have a plan, what's next?
Ongoing evaluation is important to make sure that the plan is effective and efficient, and to ensure that the plan remains flexible enough to accommodate any necessary changes or improvements.
Your plan should consider the long term outcomes as well as the initiatives that can be put in place to ensure that the hard work you've invested continues.
Potential benefits of reducing stigma in the workplace:
*reprinted in part courtesy of COI for the Department of Health, United Kingdom
See also Assessing Risks & Returns for a broader mental health strategy.