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Has Mental Health Become the Newest Workplace Safety Hazard?

May 8th, 2019

Workplace mental health has become an increasingly discussed topic in recent years, as the toll of mental health struggles on worker productivity and engagement becomes apparent. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), for instance, report that 80 percent of adults with depression struggle with work activities due to their symptoms.

Once shrouded in silence due to stigma, misunderstanding, and fear, mental health is gaining the attention it requires in order to help improve employees’ overall health, as well as the health of the businesses they serve.

Here’s what businesses need to know about mental health.

  1. Workers Want Their Employers to Care About Mental Health

A July 2018 study from Peldon Rose found that 72 percent of workers want their employers to support their mental health. This interest in mental health support from employers transcends generations as well, with about three-quarters of all workers under age 55 and about 60 percent of those over age 55 seeking employer engagement in mental health questions.

  1. Mental Health is Increasingly Seen as a Safety Issue

A Safety + Health study found that 51 percent of respondents thought mental health should be part of the safety team’s responsibility. The mental and physical damage caused by mental health problems, including anxiety and depression, can cause ongoing problems with work and even lead to on the job accidents.

  1. Managing Stress Can Have Profound Impacts on Mental Health

Many people who struggle with anxiety and depression say that work stresses cause or exacerbate their symptoms. By taking active steps to reduce workers’ stress levels, companies improve mental health, which can reduce distraction, boost creativity, and have profound effects on productivity and engagement.

  1. An Active Focus on Mental Health is a Powerful Recruiting Tool

Since so many workers want their employers to address mental health needs, doing so can help an employer stand out to top candidates. Many mental health-boosting programs, like mentorship activities or flex time, are relatively inexpensive to implement yet produce profound returns in increased productivity, retention, and improved culture.

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At THE RIGHT STAFF, LLC, our recruiters specialize in connecting employers to some of the best available candidates in the Twin Cities and surrounding areas. To learn more, contact our office today.

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