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How to build a workplace that supports mental health

https://bigthink.com/personal-growth/workplace-mental-health?rebelltitem=1#rebelltitem1

bigthink.com

How to build a workplace that supports mental health
Poor mental health results in diminished productivity at work, reduced rates of labour participation, an increase in workplace accidents, higher turnover of staff, and more. But employers can become a champion of change. Learn the steps you can make to build a mentally healthy workplace here.

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Mental Health In Today’s World

Mental Health In Today’s World

In an increasingly complex and competitive globalized environment, the growth curve of mental illness is a serious concern, with statistics showing that 800,000 people commit suicide per year, and about 4.4 per cent of the world’s population is under depression.

The consequences are also economic, as according to a study, India will lose about 1 trillion USD to mental illness in the next 10 years, and China 4.5 trillion USD.

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Mental Health At The Workplace

Mental disorders that are unchecked and untreated in employees(and their family) often lead to reduced productivity, increase in workplace accidents, with a majority of the employees suffering from decreased concentration at work.

Treating mental health is not a big investment and employers can be the facilitators to reverse the grim scenario.

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Employer Actions To Treat Mental Illness

  1. Becoming aware of the workplace environment and the policies that might adversely impact the employees.
  2. Learn from leaders and engage in employee wellbeing.
  3. Follow other companies who have taken necessary steps to curb mental health issues at the workplace.
  4. Understand the unique needs and opportunities of your workforce to develop tailored policies.
  5. Take practical steps like initiating training programs and facilitating the various workplace wellbeing strategies.
  6. Many workers have a stigma attached to seeking help for mental health problems and need to be educated about the process while making it frictionless.
  7. Remember that mental health is linked to everything, including physical and economic health.

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Your mental health is like a wallet

This metaphor means seeing your mental health as a wallet: money comes in, money comes out. How much money is in there is how many adverse events you can go through while sustaining your mental...

Events that empty our mental health wallet

  • The ways people are using social media has more of an impact on their mental health than just the frequency and duration of their use.
  • Microaggressions and discrimination.
  • Urban life: urbanites are 21% more likely to have anxiety disorders and 39% more likely to have mood disorders.
  • Financial worries have been linked to mental health issues among university students, and about half of people in problem debt.
  • Lack of sleep, a poor diet and alcohol consumption.

Investing in mental health

  • Journaling has many science-based benefits. It can be used to reduce your anxiety or process traumatic events.
  • Exercise is powerful medicine. Whenever you are feeling stressed, anxious, or depressed, try to go for a short run to clear your head.
  • Talking it out. Not expressing your feelings will not help you process them. And talking about your emotions is not about receiving advice. Instead, it’s about having someone to share what you are going through.

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The Right Amount Of Work

The World Health Organization(WHO) recently recognized the symptoms of workplace burnout, with too much work wreaking havoc on our mental health, all across the world.

Surprisingly, not work...

Eight Hours A Week

An extensive study shows that just eight hours a week is enough for the average worker to generate significant mental health and well-being benefits.


Working between one to eight hours per week resulted in decreased risk of mental health issues, especially among people recently unemployed.


Working has some intangible benefits, called psychological vitamins, like social contact, structured routine, shared goals, enforced activity, variety and a sense of identity. Spending more time at work does not lead to an increase in the benefits.

Complex Carbohydrates

Complex carbohydrates are found in fiber and starch and are beneficial for brain health as they release glucose slowly into our system, helping stabilize our mood. Simple carbohydr...

Antioxidants

Our cells generate energy through oxidation, but oxidation also reduces the dopamine and serotonin in the brain and creates oxidative stress.

Antioxidants found in brightly colored foods like fruits and vegetables act as a defense against oxidative stress and inflammation in the brain and body. Antioxidants also repair oxidative damage and scavenge free radicals that cause cell damage in the brain. 

Omega 3

Omega 3 are polyunsaturated fatty acids that are involved in the process of converting food into energy. They are important for the health of the brain and the communication of its feel-good chemicals dopamine, serotonin and norepinephrine.

Omega 3 are essential nutrients that are not readily produced by the body, so we must include foods high on it in our diet.