What Can Be Done To Gain Support And Participation Across The Organization
When introducing psychological health and safety initiatives, it is important to get buy-in from all levels in the organization. Support and participation will help to improve the environmental and behavioural factors that influence how all employees interact with each other on a daily basis.
Senior leaders Owners and senior leaders have the critical capacity to positively influence workplace culture, management practices, priorities, and values through setting expectations, leading by example, and allocating time, people power, and resources.
To gain support and participation from senior leaders:
- Help leaders understand the legal, ethical, and economical benefits of psychological health and safety
- Identify champions from all levels of the organization
- Establish decision-making procedures and clearly identify who are responsible for the development and implementation of psychological health and safety initiatives
To gain support and participation from managers:
Managers Managers and supervisors are often tasked with balancing between meeting business targets and wanting to model healthy habits and support their team members. Managers and supervisors are also on the front lines of addressing mental health issues that are reported or intentionally noticed through interactions with their team.
To gain support and participation from all employees:
Why We Often Neglect Our Mental Health Needs
Even in todays advanced world, many of us are often reluctantor unableto address our mental health needs. This can stem from a variety of reasons, including:
In some societies, mental and emotional issues are seen as less legitimate than physical issues. They’re seen as a sign of weakness or somehow as being our own fault.
Some people mistakenly see mental health problems as something we should know how to snap out of. Men, especially, would often rather bottle up their feelings than seek help.
In our fast-paced world, we’re obsessed with seeking quick, simple answers to complex problems. We look for connection with others by compulsively checking social media instead of reaching out to people in the real world, for example. Or to boost our mood and ease depression, we’d rather pop a pill rather tackle the underlying issues.
Many people think that if they do seek help for mental and emotional problems, the only treatment options available are medication or therapy . The truth is that, whatever your issues, there are steps you can take to improve the way you feel and experience greater mental and emotional well-being. And you can start today!
Try To Keep Track Of Your Progress
- Keep a chart of your medications and how you’re feeling. That way you can make sure you’re taking your medicines at the right times, and you can see how they affect your progress. You also might want to share your chart with your health care providers. It’s very important that your providers have all your recent information so they can figure out how best to support your recovery.
- If you have any questions, consider putting them in your chart. It can be hard to remember everything you want to discuss with your doctor, especially if your appointment is short or you feel somewhat stressed about it.
- Hold on to your records. If a doctor suggests a particular medicine, you can check your records to see if you’ve taken it in the past and how well it worked.
- Keep track of who can help. Ask your doctor whom to call if you suddenly have troubling side effects. Pharmacists can be of tremendous help in understanding medications, how to use them safely, possible side effects and other treatment options. Give a list of your medications to a friend or family member in case of emergency. Carry one in your wallet too. Include the names of your pharmacy and your health care providers.
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Tips For Starting An Exercise Routine
- Aim for 30 minutes of activity on most days. If it’s easier, three 10-minute sessions can be just as effective. Start now by taking a walk or dancing to a favorite song.
- Try rhythmic exercise that engages both your arms and legs, such as walking, running, swimming, weight training, martial arts, or dancing.
- Add a mindfulness element to your workouts. Instead of focusing on your thoughts, focus on how your body feels as you movehow your feet hit the ground, for example, the rhythm of your breathing, or the feeling of wind on your skin.
What Are The Most Common Mental Illnesses
If you want to know which conditions are seen most often and how many people are believed to suffer from them, here is the list published by NAMI:
- 1% Anxiety Disorders
- 8% Bipolar Disorder
- 4% Borderline Personality Disorder.
According to the National Institute of Mental Healths 2017 survey of U.S. adults, mental health illnesses were most prevalent among:
- Adults reporting two or more races .
Clearly, mental health treatment plays an important role in society but why, exactly?
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Limited Availability Of Mental Health Education And Awareness
Another common barrier to mental health treatment is the general lack of mental health education and awareness. Often, those who have the greatest need for mental health treatment havent been taught the signs of mental illness and how treatment can help.
With a physical injury or illness, the signs are typically apparentyou feel sick, something hurts, or a clinical test shows an abnormality. Mental illnesses, however, can be harder to recognize. Symptoms are often subtle and sometimes dismissed as personality or attitude issues. For example, clinical anxiety may be dismissed as worrying too much, and depression can often present as laziness or fatigue.
Serious conditions may not even be obvious to the person suffering or those around them, especially if they dont share their inner thoughts and feelings. Other times, people may assume that their emotional or mental status is normal, not realizing that they are suffering from disordered thinking or clinical symptoms. Ultimately, if a person doesnt know something is wrong, theyre unlikely to seek treatment.
Tips For Connecting To Others
. If you both lead busy lives, offer to run errands or exercise together. Try to make it a regular get-together.
If you don’t feel that you have anyone to call, reach out to acquaintances. Lots of other people feel just as uncomfortable about making new friends as you doso be the one to break the ice. Reconnect with an old friend, invite a coworker out for lunch, or ask a neighbor to join you for coffee.
Get out from behind your TV or computer screen. Communication is a largely nonverbal experience that requires you to have direct contact with other people, so don’t neglect your real-world relationships in favor of virtual interaction.
Be a joiner. Join networking, social, or special interest groups that meet on a regular basis. These groups offer wonderful opportunities for meeting people with common interests.
Don’t be afraid to smile and say hello to strangers you cross paths with. Making a connection is beneficial to both of youand you never know where it may lead!
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New Tech + Types Of Care
Heres a look at some of the most promising ideas coming out of start-ups and tech companies, as well as some low-fi ideas that are equally genius. In the future, look for:
Using chatbots to help make up for the . Some companies strive to elicit therapeutic bonds despite technology. Chatbots are also being studied as a means of self-diagnosis.¹²³
Smartphone apps to help people find relief for anxiety and depression tend to be the most familiar and accessible. A report in Healthcare IT News states that users can access about 800 apps devoted to mental health.
One low-tech approach is a simple concept of questions to ask yourself every day. In some cases, that may be enough to give people a sense of how theyre doing emotionally on a given day.
Robust college and masters level programs are being created to train Americans in data analytics, information management, and health informatics .
Some start-ups, like Ahead, are finding the holes in the system, for example, medication management of patients with chronic conditions, and building out healthcare dotcoms that combine online therapy and medication delivered to your door.
Help For Mental Illnesses
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If you or someone you know has a mental illness, is struggling emotionally, or has concerns about their mental health, there are ways to get help. Use these resources to find help for you, a friend, or a family member.
Please note that the National Institute of Mental Health is a research funding agency. Resources on this page are provided for informational purposes only. The list is not comprehensive and does not constitute an endorsement by NIMH.
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Taking The Lead And Working Together
Rethinking how mental health care is delivered and how much more it will cost a company is top of mind, according to business groups that track health trends. Thanks to the loosening of privacy laws, more companies are using telehealth options to be supportive of employees. Entrepreneurs are changing the way mental health care is delivered.
The news has been filled with Congressional battles to find the best mix of funding to build back better that includes spending for mental health and disability care for months. Then there are large not-for-profit organizations, such as Jonas Philanthropies, that are putting money behind diversifying and mentoring talent that will make up the future of mind-body care.
Mental health care has a silo problem, says Teri Brister, National Director, Research & Quality Assurance at the National Alliance on Mental Illness . After 16 years with NAMI and 20 years in community mental health centers she says, many groups advocating for niche issues, from substance harm reduction to programs, and the public doesnt really know the differences between them.
They need to combine efforts and work together, say experts because so many mental illnesses and conditions are comorbid, and because the more these groups work together, the stronger they are at pushing for change.
Early identification and prevention, especially for families and young people
Rapid deployment of emergency crisis response and suicide prevention efforts
Burden Of Mental Disorders
The updated projections of global mortality and burden of disease, 20022030 based on country projections for 192 WHO Member States in 2006 support the groundbreaking work of Murray and Lopez a decade earlier and indicate that the burden caused by mental disorders continues to rise as predicted by them . In a recent review it has been highlighted that, in addition to the 14% of the global burden of disease attributed to neurological/psychiatric disorders, the indirect burden of mental health problems should be sought beyond the realm of mental disorders and encompass a wide range of communicable and noncommunicable diseases in fact, the indirect burden may even negatively influence progress towards the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals .
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What Happens If A Student Needs Time Off From School
Sometimes, a young person may need to live in a residential treatment location for a while until they are feeling better. If this happens, their education does not have to stop. Many treatment facilities have continuing education as part of the overall program. Students may spend a few hours a day on their schoolwork so that they dont fall behind. Some facilities may also contact the young persons school to have work sent over. Encourage communication between the residential treatment location and school support team to create the best solution for the young person in care.
It is important to also remember that transitioning back into school can be overwhelming and stressful for a young person who has been away. Talk to your school support team about transition supports available in the school.
Promoting Positive Mental Health
Schools are a great place for children and youth to experience and learn about mental well-being. Encouraging students to take advantage of opportunities at school can help overall mental health. Here are some ways that schools promote positive mental health:
- Promoting active living
- Teaching children and youth about healthy eating
- Providing healthy eating options
- Teaching coping skills, such as self-awareness and stress management
- Promoting positive self-esteem
- Creating an open environment for talking about their problems and questions
- Providing spaces for relaxation, such as a lounge and quiet corners within classrooms
- Displaying relevant materials for children, youth and families
- Implementing and actively supporting policies for safe and accepting schools, including bullying prevention and intervention policies
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Services The Best Employee Assistance Programs May Provide
Employer-provided on-demand support systems like Ginger¹ and Modern Health¹
Timely direct matching with in-house coaches and therapists
Peer-to-peer mental health training programs like Mental Health First Aid¹
Free mobile app-based stress management and coaching
Child and elder care solutions
Training for managers on stress management and how to recognize signs of anxiety or stress among direct reports
Employers who are interested in boosting the use of EAPs will educate their employees on what services are available to them and how to access them. They will also make it clear that these programs are FREE and separate from employer-sponsored health insurance and they extend to the employee’s family members.
For more information about EAPs, visit the website of the Office of Personnel Management.
Innovative Solutions To Address The Mental Health Crisis: Shifting Away From Police As First Responders
Several recent incidents underscore the risks when we expect police to resolve incidents involving people experiencing crises associated with behavioral health or developmental disorders. Sometimes the results are tragic, such as the death of Daniel Prude in Rochester, New York, the shooting in Utah of a 13-year-old boy with autism, and the killing of Walter Wallace in Philadelphia. Such episodes raise questions about what role if any police should play in such cases.
A significant part of the problem is the long-standing, inadequate level of mental health services in the United States. A 2019-2020 report produced by The Blue Ridge Academic Health Group, which advises academic medical centers, draws attention to the sharp reduction in the number of inpatient psychiatric beds since the 1960s. It was intended that such deinstitutionalization would be accompanied by increased community-based care, but that has been insufficient. This inadequate access to care may explain an analysis of police calls in Washington D.C., showing calls from family and friends disproportionately involve mental illness. With racial minorities more often living in under-resourced communities and so less likely to be properly diagnosed with mental illness and receive adequate treatment, it becomes more probable that police may be called to deal with a minority individual experiencing a mental health crisis.
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Understanding Good Mental Health
Your mental health influences how you think, feel, and behave in daily life. It also affects your ability to cope with stress, overcome challenges, build relationships, and recover from lifes setbacks and hardships.
Strong mental health isnt just the absence of mental health problems. Being mentally or emotionally healthy is much more than being free of depression, anxiety, or other psychological issues. Rather than the absence of mental illness, mental health refers to the presence of positive characteristics.
People who are mentally healthy have:
- A sense of contentment.
- A zest for living and the ability to laugh and have fun.
- The ability to deal with stress and bounce back from adversity.
- A sense of meaning and purpose, in both their activities and their relationships.
- The flexibility to learn new skills and adapt to change.
- A balance between work and play, rest and activity, etc.
- The ability to build and maintain fulfilling relationships.
- Self-confidence and high self-esteem.
Whether youre looking to cope with a specific mental health problem, handle your emotions better, or simply to feel more positive and energetic, there are plenty of ways to take control of your mental healthstarting today.
What Does An Employee Assistance Program Do
Here are the basics:
EAPs help workers find quality mental or physical health care quickly. The care is available for the employee as well as their families. Some services are covered by the company for up to 6 weeks, a perk people may not have tapped into because they didnt realize the services are confidential and do not involve input from Human Resources.
For more information about the logistics of your healthcare and access to an EAP, the Office of Personnel Management website can answer many of your EAP-related questions such as what happens to your benefits during a furlough.
The importance of EAPs, in general, grew during the pandemic across the country. What varied is the services offered. At some organizations, EAPs are a resource for virtual wellness coaching while at others they may offer access to on-call nurses trained in mental health crises.
None of these services are permanentthey are offered as a stopgap measure until you find a regular healthcare provider or protection . One warning: Within the mental health care system there are egregious shortages of psychiatrists and other mental health professionals to care for the spike in stress, burnout, and domestic violence. EAP programs are no exceptionyou may find long wait times and lack of services here too.
So how well are companies integrating this care into the benefits plans? How much is truly substantive and effective, and how much is so much aspirational wellness fluff?
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