October 10th is World Mental Health Day, and this year’s theme is Mental Health in the Workplace! According to the World Health Organization, more than 300 million people around the world suffer from depression, while more than 260 million are living with anxiety disorders. Many individuals live with both, and a recent WHO-led study estimates that depression and anxiety disorders cost the global economy US$ 1 trillion each year in lost productivity. Although stress is a normal part of life and work, when it is prolonged or excessive, it can be a risk factor for mental health issues such as anxiety and depression.
As busy young professionals, we all spend a significant part of our lives at the office. So, creating a workplace that promotes mental health and wellness is imperative for both employers and employees. A healthy workplace is one where everyone actively contributes to a positive environment by promoting and protecting safety and well-being. Here are some strategies to promote mental health at your office on World Mental Health Day, and every day:
- Create organizational policies that promote good mental health
- Talk honestly about mental health in the workplace
- Be open to learning about mental health conditions and other people’s experiences
- Respect the privacy of others
- Express gratitude for your coworkers and managers
- Speak up if you see instances of bullying, harassment or discrimination.
- Cooperate with workplace policies and procedures, and support initiatives aimed at improving mental health in the workplace.
- Understand how your workplace can support you and how you can access help if you need it.
When mental health is prioritized, everyone benefits from having a supportive, responsive and productive working environment. For more information and ideas on how to promote mental health at your office, please visit The World Health Organization (WHO) and the Mental Health Commission of Canada.