(Last Updated On: March 20, 2020)
The importance of mental health
Mental illness affects 19 % of the adult population 46% of teenagers and 13% of children each day. There are many people struggling with mental illness. They could be in your family, a neighborhood at work or in the next cubicle. However only half of those affected receive treatment often because of the stigma attached to mental health. Untreated medical illnesses can contribute to higher medical expenses, poor performance at work, fewer employment opportunities or increased risk of suicide.
What exactly is mental illness?
Mental illness is a physical illness of the brain that causes disturbance in thinking, behaviors, energy or emotion that makes it difficult to cope up with ordinary demands of life. Research is starting to uncover the complicated causes of the disease which can include genetics. brain chemistry, brain structure, experiencing trauma or having other medical condition like heart disease
The two main important mental health conditions are Anxiety disorders and Mood disorders
Anxiety disorders may lead to a lot of problems such as restlessness at work which is classical form and would not allow you to focus at work. Anxiety disorders would include.
Social anxiety disorder
Social anxiety disorder is the third largest mental health care problem in the world today. The latest government epidemiology shows 7% of the population has this problem. The chances of developing SAD stands slightly above 13%
Definition Social anxiety is the fear of social situations that involves interaction with other people.you could say social anxiety is the fear of being negatively judged or evaluated by other people. It is a pervasive disorder and causes anxiety and fear in most areas of a person’s life. It’s chronic because it does not go away on its own. Only direct cognitive behavior therapy can help. as it can change the brain and help people overcome social anxiety
People with social anxiety are many times shy, quiet, unfriendly. Nervous, aloof, disinterested and inhibited. Paradoxically people with social anxiety want to make friends be included in groups and engaged in social interactions. But having social anxiety prevents people from being able to do so things they want to do. Although people with social anxiety want to be openly friendly and sociable it is a fear that holds them back.
Triggering symptoms People with social anxiety usually experience distress when.
- Being introduced to other people.
- Being teased or criticized.
- Being a center of attention.
- Being watched or observed while doing something.
- Having to say something formal in public.
- Meeting people in authority.
- Feeling insecure or out of a place of social situations.
- Meeting other people.
- Swallowing writing talking or making mistakes.
What you can do to help?
Although the general perception of mental illness has improved over the past decades, studies show that stigma against mental illness is still powerful, largely due to media stereotypes and lack of education and that people tend to attach negative stigmas to mental health conditions at the far higher rate than to other diseases such as cancer diabetes or heart diseases. Stigma not only affects the number seeking treatment but also several resources available for proper treatment. stigma and misinterpretation can feel like overwhelming obstacles for someone who is struggling with a mental health condition.
Here are a few powerful things you can do to help someone in the workplace.
- Showing individual respect and acceptance removes a significant barrier to successfully coping with other illnesses. having people see you as an individual and not as an illness can make a big difference for someone who is struggling with mental health
- Advocating within our circles of influence helps ensure these individuals have the same rights and opportunities as other members of your community
- Learning more about mental health allows us to provide helpful support to those affected in families and communities and the workplace.
- Awareness is a form of education that needs to be increased as far as the understanding of mental health is concerned.
Although mental health is a fundamental component of health, recognition of mental health disorders and awareness is important and is limited. Stigma and lack of understanding about mental disorders is the major barrier to seeking health and promoting better mental health.
Mental health promotion action involves improving psychological well being. there are the number of ways to promote mental health, especially at the workplace by improving irritability at work and helping in case of major mood disorders, taking care of the work and the socio-economic condition of the women and social support for the elderly population at the workplace. There should be mental health interventions at work, violence programs, and anti-discrimination laws and campaigns. Mental health promotion should be mainstreamed by the government to increase productivity at work. There should be campaigns like the one done in 2017 “Let’s Talk” campaign on depression, promoting workplace mental health, reducing availability and access to alcohol as well as developing comprehensive prevention strategies.
Mental health at the workplace Poor mental health and stress can negatively affect people or an employee.
- Job performance and productivity
- Engagement with one’s work
- Communication with co-workers
Physical capability and daily functioning.
Mental illness such as depression are associated with higher rates of disability and employment depression interferes with a person’s ability to complete the physical job or the task assigned to him and reduces cognitive performance. Even after taking health risk as smoking and obesity into account employees are at higher risk of depression and have the highest health cost.
The importance of mental health and awareness
Employers should promote awareness about the importance of mental health and stress management. Workplace health promotion programs have proven to be successful especially when they combine with mental and physical health intervention. The workplace is an optimal setting to create a culture of health.
Emotional health is of utmost importance. The action or steps that employers can take include.
- Make mental health self-assessment tools available to all employees.
- Offer free or subsidized clinical screening for depression from a qualified mental health provider followed by directed feedback and clinical referral when appropriate.
- Offer health insurance with low out of pocket costs for depression medications and mental health counseling.
- Provide free or subsidized lifestyle coaching, counseling or self-management programs.
- Host seminars and workshops that address depression and stress management like mindfulness and breathing exercises and meditation to help employees to improve focus and meditation.
- Create and maintain dedicated quiet spaces for relaxation activities.
These are steps taken to improve the depression and employees suffering from mental health issues such as depression, social anxiety disorder, anger, and other mental health problems. It is essential to boost up their confidence.