There has been an increase in mental health issues causing organizations to increase their mental health benefits. However, if the workplace culture does not support mental health and continues to contribute to its stigma, employees won’t use the benefits and will continue to decline mentally. Here are three tips to support mental health issues:
1. Be vulnerable. Everyone has their “off” days. Share your personal experiences with mental health issues. Be honest. Letting people know that you’re having a bad day reflects humanity and encourages others to be more open.
2. Demonstrate mentally healthy behavior. Demonstrate healthy work-life boundaries. For example, tell your employees that you won’t be responding to emails after a certain time. It is one thing to emphasize the importance of taking a break, but unless the leader takes their own advice, employees won’t feel free to do the same.
3. Check on your employees, but don’t pry. Be proactive about checking in on your employees, but also be careful to not jump to conclusions. If someone seems off, it could be a sign of depression or they could just be tired. Instead of assuming something is wrong, name what you are noticing and ask open-ended questions like, “You seem down. Is it anything that we can talk about?” Don’t pressure someone into disclosing information they don’t want to, but do open the door so that they can talk and you can suggest options.