The National Alliance on Mental Illness shows that around 40 million adults in the U.S. suffer from anxiety disorder.
These numbers are hard to ignore, and the past two years have only worsened these conditions. In fact, a study from the Harvard Business Review’s nonprofit organization Mind Share Partners revealed that 44% of respondents saw a decline in their mental health since the beginning of the pandemic.
Mental health challenges are impacting employees from all industries and at all levels, so why are discussions about these issues in the workplace still deemed taboo?
Mental wellness has direct links to the overall productivity and health of a workplace as research has proven, meaning leaders and employees can play a role in normalizing discussions about mental health at work.
To do this, leaders should facilitate one-on-one discussions to show employees that their wellbeing matters, and the company is supportive of them.
Creating a culture of openness will also be essential, so leaders should be transparent and vulnerable with their workers to create a workplace that is safe and trusting for employees.
Educating workers about mental health can also help them normalize and engage in discussions. By bringing in experts in the wellness field, hosting workshops, and providing paid mental health leave, employees can learn more about how to manage their own challenges, while also being part of a culture that is sympathetic and caring.