Employers Can Help Improve Mental Health
Each year, millions of Americans face the reality of living with a mental health condition, as 1 in 5 U.S. adults will experience a mental health disorder in their lifetime. However, everyone is affected or impacted by mental illness through friends, family, and in the workplace.
An analysis conducted by the World Health Organization (WHO) found that by 2030, the world will have lost 12 billion workdays due to depression and anxiety disorders. This adds up to an incredible 50 million years of work lost and puts the annual financial impact to the global economy at a staggering $925 billion.
Work-related risk factors for health
Many risk factors for mental health can be present in the workplace. According to WHO, most risks relate to interactions between type of work, the organizational and managerial environment, the skills and competencies of employees, and the support available for employees to help them carry out their work. For example, a person may have the skills to complete tasks, but they may have too few resources to do what is required, or there may be unsupportive managerial or organizational practices.
Risks to mental health include:
- Inadequate health and safety policies
- Poor communication and management practices
- Limited participation in decision-making or low control over one’s area of work
- Low levels of support for employees
- Inflexible working hours
- Unclear tasks or organizational objectives