3 Part Series on Mental Health – Part 2

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The Importance of Mental Illness Awareness in the workplace

Positive mental health in the workplace is something that is so crucial, yet rarely discussed in an open and educated atmosphere. Our brains are miraculous in design and capability, but when there are issues and chemical imbalances, as well as dissatisfaction and loss of enthusiasm at work, it severely affects our performance in the tasks we are meant to achieve, Understanding this topic and taking steps to prevent mental illness can be what gives your company an extra boost of productivity in the marketplace, and provides your organization with employees that are supported in this area of healthy living.

Knowledge and awareness are key steps for helping those with mental illness in the workplace. Once we make an effort to understand the causes, costs, and cures of being in depression or having anxiety, it is easier to be compassionate and care for those that go through it every day. When a co-worker is showing symptoms of mental illness (such as low levels of engagement, consistently late arrival, loss of interest, angry or defensive outbursts, or frequent late assignments) it is best when they are recognized immediately and addressed with caution and concern. 500,000 Canadians miss work each day due to mental health issues, and it costs Canada $51 billion per year. And this doesn’t include the lost production/productivity due to employees who are at work but lack “presenteeism” (being fully focused, engaged and productive at work). These absences and lost funds can sometimes be prevented, but only with education and awareness, making sure we are being completely intentional about having a mentally productive and pleasant workplace.

The Canadian Metal Health Association is working hard to see Canadians being supported at work when diagnosed with mental illness, or even just showing the early signs of depression or anxiety. They provide workshops, online resources, and trainers to gives businesses many opportunities to provide information and learning sessions for their employees and management teams. Their website, (http://mentalhealthworks.ca/employers) has resources for employers. If you want to know more about the effects and symptoms of mental illnesses in the workplace, these websites can tell you all about it:

http://www.cmha.ca/mental_health/depression-in-the-workplace/
http://www.mentalhealthcommission.ca/English/system/files/private/document/Workforce_Employers_Guide_ENG.pdf
http://www.cmha.bc.ca/how-can-we-help/workplace/mentalhealthworks/workshops
http://www2.worksafebc.com/Topics/workplacementalhealth/introduction.asp?reportID=36882

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