Approximately 60% of the world’s population is employed and actively at work. Having a solid job supports mental health by offering a way to make a living, a sense of purpose, a chance to build meaningful relationships, and a structured routine. However, the American Psychological Association discovered that work negatively affects 2 in 5 employees’ mental health.
How work can negatively impact mental health
Psychosocial risks, risks to mental health, at work are often related to work schedule, job content, company culture, or lack of growth or career development opportunities. The top 5 factors that contribute to a poor work experience are long hours, lacking support, understaffing, poor work/life balance, and harassment or bullying in the workplace.
These risks can be found in any work sector, but health, humanitarian, and emergency workers typically experience more adverse events, which have a higher potential to negatively impact mental health.
Fostering positive mental health at work
Employers can take measures to improve employees’ work-related mental health in several ways. The top 4 ways to facilitate positive mental wellness among worker includes:
- Identifying psychosocial risks and determining ways to prevent the risks from affecting mental health.
- Promoting a safe work environment that offers constructive criticism, uses mistakes as a learning experience, values employees and their contributions, and embraces diversity.
- Encouraging a strong work/life balance by requiring employees to take a certain amount of vacation time, at a minimum, and being flexible when employees need personal time.
- Creating a culture of openness and honesty by educating employees on mental health through training sessions. Employees should not fear being fired or punished for acknowledging or seeking help for mental health issues.
The importance of upkeeping mental health cannot be overstated, especially when it comes to performance and workplace satisfaction.