Mental illness is not just a personal health issue. The Business and Economic Roundtable on Mental Health estimates that the economic costs of mental illnesses are the equivalent of 1/7th of Corporate Canada’s net operating profits.
… by the individual, their family, by the community, by the government and by corporate leaders.” says stress and wellness specialist Beverly Beuermann-King from Work Smart Live Smart. “It must be a comprehensive approach, much like the spokes in a wheel. If one of the spokes is broken – if one area loses its focus, then the wheel falls apart and we all pay a hefty price.”
Only 1 in every 3 Canadians with a mental health issue will seek help, leaving millions trying to cope all on their own. Those that are seeking help, may not be getting all of the support or information that they need. In terms of prescription drug claims, mental illness represents the second most utilized therapeutic category for employers, behind only cardiovascular drugs.
Though some may be seeking medical help, fear of being criticize or judged by those at work may prevent them from reaching out to others for support. “We are working in a corporate world where our teams are faced with a variety of stressors and a world where many of our teams are finding that their coping strategies are inadequate or ineffective at addressing the numerous stressors that they are facing.”
“For some, this stress can bring about further mental health issues along with the feeling of being unsupported and isolated. This becomes a vicious circle. We can feel the impact and we can see the impact – personally, professionally and corporately,” continues Beuermann-King.
Beverly’s Hot Tip For Building Resilience During Mental Illness Awareness Week:
Oct 2-8, 2016 is Mental Illness Awareness Week. “Mental Illness Awareness Week is a great time for individuals and companies alike to bring mental illness issues out into the open. Educate yourself. Educate others. Bring mental health and mental illness workshops into the corporate world and examine policies and attitudes that prevent those experiencing a mental illness from getting the help that they need.”
10 Tips To Promote Mental Illness Awareness Week
- Host an employee Lunch ‘n’ Learn on Depression, Seasonal Affective Disorders, Bipolar Depression, Anxiety Disorder, Postpartum Depression or Stress
- Educate leaders on recognizing mental health issues and options for return to work
- Arrange a workplace health fair with connections to the mental health community
- Look at workplace flexibility – flex hours, tele-commuting options, job sharing
- Provide pamphlets on mental illness symptoms and treatments
- Bring in a massage therapist or relaxation instructor
- Email daily wellness tips to each employee
- Post wellness articles on employee bulletin boards
- Declare a ‘Stress-Down’ day – eliminate unnecessary meetings and emails
- Promote daily stress busters
If you have some strategies to share – comment on this posting!