Notice: Undefined variable: post_type in /home/wmhicoma/public_html/wp-content/plugins/all-in-one-seo-pack/aioseop_class.php on line 4155

Tag Archives: Mental Health Tips

3-ways-to-break the-stigma-at-work

3 Ways To Break The Stigma Around Mental Health At Work

Mental health issues are a common problem facing Australians, and the related statistics are telling:

  • Currently, about 450 million people around the world are living with some kind of mental disorder.
  • According to the World Health Organisation, about 25% of the global population will experience a mental disorder at least once in their lifetime.
  • In Australia alone, about 1 out of every 5 of us will experience mental ill-health every year.
  • Mental health problems hold the dubious honor of being the third leading cause of disability within the Australian labour force.
  • It’s been estimated that Australian businesses lose more than $6.5 billion every year by not providing early intervention and treatment for their employees who are experiencing mental health issues.
  • However, despite evidence showing just how common this condition is, it’s been estimated that up to two thirds of people with a known mental health condition choose not to seek professional help.

3-ways-to-break the-stigma-at-workWhy is this so?

Access to care, language barriers, and a dearth of quality resources are a few reasons why, but perhaps the most insidious reason is stigma.

Mental Health Stigma Exists — and it Doesn’t Necessarily Stop at the Workplace

Stigma has a powerful influence in the world of mental health issues. Society at large often views people living with mental disorders as unstable, dangerous, or even violent. People with mental health challenges are often believed to be incapable of leading productive and fulfilling lives—indeed, sufferers themselves may even believe this. Research doesn’t tend to support these assumptions, but media and cultural expectations often bolster them, anyway.

These assumptions—real or imagined—can discourage people living with mental ill-health to seek much needed treatment. Their condition may make them feel ashamed, weak, and alone, which of course only compounds their mental health issue and propagates a vicious feed-forward cycle of stress, isolation, and illness.

Mental Health Issues on the Job

If we agree that stigma about mental health is virtually ubiquitous, then it becomes clear how this same stigma can exist in the workplace, too. Specifically, both employers and employees may assume a mental health problem will render a person less productive, less organized, and less able to focus on their tasks at hand. Of course, in some cases this can actually hold true, especially if an individual hasn’t sought treatment for their underlying disorder.

Many workplace team members living with a mental health issue choose to hide their issues. They often fear for their job security or are afraid to risk “losing face” in front of their bosses, colleagues, and customers. On their end, employers may not have the tools and tactics to talk to their employees about their suffering. Indeed, an employer may not even be aware that one of his or her team members is suffering from a mental health issue in the first place (unlike a broken ankle or other physical ailment, mental health conditions are often “invisible” and difficult to recognise).

Are you a psychologically safe manager? Take the self assessment to find out.

It’s worth pausing here to reflect on something: mental health problems are common problems. It’s unfortunate that so many people grappling with anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, and other issues believe that they have to face their challenges alone. Fortunately, leaders in business organisations are in a unique position to change the way their individual companies approach and accommodate mental health, which can have a profoundly positive impact on the issue of mental health as a whole.

3 Ways to Reduce Stigma Associated with Workplace Mental Health Issues

A workplace culture that stigmatises against workplace mental health issues can be detrimental to both individuals within a company and to the company as a whole. Breaking through this stigma can be extremely difficult. Here are 3 ways to get started:

  1. Educate at all levels.

From senior executives to entry-level team members, everyone in your company can benefit from learning more about mental health. Consider sending out company-wide memos, holding in-services, inviting guest speakers, or even running annual events such as “Mental Health Month” as a way to disseminate information and reduce the fear, stigma, and mystery surrounding mental health.

  1. Ensure everyone on your team has access to help.

Work with your HR team or consultants to raise awareness about policies and programs designed to support both physical and mental health. Use discretion and show that you respect your employees’ privacy.

  1. Make your anti-discrimination policies clear.

As a manager, it’s in your best interest to show your employees that they will not be discriminated against due to a mental health issue. Lead by example. Show that by acknowledging and seeking help for a health issue, a person can become an even more valuable employee at your company, rather than a liability.

To your mental health,

– Peter Diaz

Author: Peter Diaz
Peter-Diaz-AuthorPeter Diaz is the CEO of Workplace Mental Health Institute. He’s an author and accredited mental health social worker with senior management experience. Having recovered from his own experience of bipolar depression, Peter is passionate about assisting organisations to address workplace mental health issues in a compassionate yet results-focussed way. He’s also a Dad, Husband, Trekkie and Thinker.

Connect with Peter Diaz on:
Peter Diaz on Google Plus Peter Diaz on Face Book Peter Diaz on LinkedIn

team-manager

3 simple things managers can do to improve the emotional health of their teams

In my last blog, I explained how people need to feel valued, loved and wanted. I also explained that it’s normal for people to create situations to fulfil these needs. If managers do not work in tandem with these needs people will usually manufacture drama to get these needs met. So what can you, the manager, do to get some balance back into your team? Let me tell you about three that will make a massive and immediate difference:

1 – Create regular touch points to reassure people that ‘we are ok’

The wise leader doesn’t take the relationship for granted. It reassures regularly. Some managers make monthly appointments with their direct reports and remind them of why they were hired.

team-manager2 – Communicate clearly and courageously

Don’t assume your reports know you care. Tell them. Tell them specifically. And remember: most managers fail to do this because they lack the courage to open up to their reports. It takes guts to tell others you care about them and to be available. The results make it worthwhile though.

3 – Articulate a clear vision for your team and make it a part of your daily discourse

It’s been said that ‘the people without a vision will perish’. A team without a clear vision will perish too. But long before then it will develop into fertile ground for mental health problems to thrive. That is the death knelt for a team if left unaddressed.

Simple.

By the way, just one of these things will make a massive difference to your team’s mental health and help you avoid problems.

Try them. Let me know what happens.

Author: Peter Diaz
Peter-Diaz-AuthorPeter Diaz is the CEO of Workplace Mental Health Institute. He’s an author and accredited mental health social worker with senior management experience. Having recovered from his own experience of bipolar depression, Peter is passionate about assisting organisations to address workplace mental health issues in a compassionate yet results-focussed way. He’s also a Dad, Husband, Trekkie and Thinker.

Connect with Peter Diaz on:
Peter Diaz on Google Plus Peter Diaz on Face Book Peter Diaz on LinkedIn

rejection

What If People Do Not Want Love?

I was talking to a group of Aboriginal leaders recently and one of them, in the break, asked me, tongue in cheek, this question, ‘What if people don’t want love?’

And because my message is always centred around compassion, this is relevant. I encourage managers to use compassion when dealing with their teams. This goes a long way to help create mentally healthy workplaces. So, It’s a relevant question: are there some people that don’t want love? (Besides psychopaths, of course). Just to clarify, when I say ‘love’ here, I am not talking about romantic love (although it could apply too), but more generally, about that compassion, respect, unconditional positive regard for another human being, simply because they are a human being, with all the struggles and challenges that entails.

RejectionSo, back to my question ‘are there people who just don’t want love?’ I have met people that assured me this was the case with them. They said they didn’t like people and didn’t want love. They even distrusted the idea of love and people saying they loved them. After a little additional exploring, it became apparent that some are angry, frustrated or disappointed at people. These people are not generally not wanting love but in fact, having a deep yearning for it and have been deeply hurt or let down by others. As a protective mechanism, their psyche has built defences that keeps others at arms length.

In my experience, these individuals are deeply caring individuals, sensitive souls, eager to connect meaningfully with others but don’t know how to go about it. It is natural for human beings to want to feel connected to others and to want to be able to do so safely. To be yourself and to be loved unconditionally. Without negative judgement of you as a person. To be held in positive regard. To feel that we somehow matter to someone else. We yearn for this. We desire this deeply and, if we don’t get it, then our psyche reacts – either through apathy, isolation, distrust, complaining, undermining,…you name it. If we don’t get what we need, we’ll manufacture situations to get some semblance of what we need. For example, These manufactured situations are likely to become a drain to your team’s resources resulting in stress, conflict and chronic negativity.

Best be avoided.

So it makes sense that if we want our people to develop a strong commitment and loyalty to their work, and our people want to feel valued, loved, and wanted, we managers would do well to provide that. But, how do we do that in the workplace?

My next blog will give you three proven techniques to address the emotional needs of your team. Stay tuned.

Author: Peter Diaz
Peter-Diaz-AuthorPeter Diaz is the CEO of Workplace Mental Health Institute. He’s an author and accredited mental health social worker with senior management experience. Having recovered from his own experience of bipolar depression, Peter is passionate about assisting organisations to address workplace mental health issues in a compassionate yet results-focussed way. He’s also a Dad, Husband, Trekkie and Thinker.

Connect with Peter Diaz on:
Peter Diaz on Google Plus Peter Diaz on Face Book Peter Diaz on LinkedIn

+61 2 8935 3885