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    Your Employees' Mental Well-Being Matters

    Our mental well-being includes how we think, act, and feel. It also helps us cope with stress, relate to others, and make decisions. In this blog post, we’ll offer business leaders advice on how to help their employees prioritize their mental health.

    Johnny C. Taylor, President and CEO of SHRM, offered the following advice to employers: “COVID-19 is taking a toll on our minds and emotions in a million little ways. Now, more than ever, employers should double down against stigmas and guarantee employees know of the resources, benefits, and accommodations available."

    What is mental well-being?

    According to the World Health Organization (WHO), there’s not a specific definition of mental well-being. However, various studies agree that achieving a state of mental well-being includes being able to:

    • Realize your full potential
    • Work productively
    • Cope with normal stresses of life
    • Contribute meaningfully to your community

    Mental well-being includes mental health but goes far beyond treating mental illness. For example, your employees could go through a period of poor mental health but not necessarily have a diagnosable mental illness. Likewise, mental health can change over time, depending on factors such as workload, stress, and work-life balance.

    What is mental illness?

    Mental illness refers to a variety of conditions that affect your mood or behavior, feelings, or thinking. Some mental illnesses can occur occasionally, while others are chronic and long-lasting. Common mental illnesses include anxiety, depression, schizophrenia, and bipolar disorder. Mental illness is more prevalent than you might think. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in five U.S. adults will experience mental illness in any given year, and more than 50% will experience mental illness at some point in their life.

    Why should mental well-being be important to your employees?

    Mental well-being is tied directly to physical health. Individuals with poor mental health or untreated mental illness are at risk of developing many chronic conditions like Type 2 diabetes, stroke, heart disease, and obesity. Poor mental health can also cause negative effects in your employees’ work and social lives. If employees have poor mental health, they may experience productivity issues at work and may experience withdrawal or feelings of loneliness.

    How can you help your employees be more mindful about their mental well-being?

    Because it’s such a crucial component of our health, it’s important to educate employees about the importance of focusing on maintaining or improving their mental health.

    Whether you distribute this information to your employees via your internal email system, your company intranet, or printed out on-site, here are three simple ways to do so every day:

    Express gratitude.

    Taking five minutes a day to write down the things that you are grateful for has been proven to lower stress levels and can help you change your mindset from negative to positive.

    Get exercise.

    You probably hear all the time how beneficial exercise is to your overall health, but it’s true. Exercising can improve brain function, reduce anxiety, and improve your self-image.

    Get a good night’s sleep.

    Strive for seven to eight hours of sleep a night to improve your mental health.

    These are challenging times for business leaders. Implementing or improving an employee health benefits and wellness program empowers your employees by providing easy access to quality medical and mental health services can help improve the overall health of your employee population and ultimately result in savings on health costs for your business.

    Will Gen Z Redefine Workplace Wellness

    This article is for informational purposes only and is not intended as medical advice. For further information, please consult a medical professional.

    Related Categories

    Employee Health & Wellness

    Roxanne Leal

    Roxanne Leal is the Director of Wellness for SWBC Employee Benefits Group. She specializes in developing strategic wellness programs based on high-cost claims, survey data, and aggregate reports.

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