Does Your Workplace Support Your Mental Health?

office-PhilWhitehouse-flickr.jpg

A workplace can, and ideally should, provide a sense of connectedness, purpose, structure, achievement, and role identity. Such an environment is a protection against the onset of anxiety or depression.

Unfortunately, many people spend a large portion of their lives in workplaces that are mentally unhealthy—a problem for both employer and employee.

Stressors At Work

Too many of us have come to expect a place of employment to be highly stressful, but it is counterproductive for all involved to let this be the norm. Change starts with awareness, and with people willing to take up the conversation.

Workplace issues associated with mental health problems include:

  • having a position where the demands are high, but you have little or no control over your work.
  • unsuitable rewards such as inadequate pay, and lack of recognition or appreciation.
  • job insecurity and the threat of downsizing.
  • interpersonal issues at work, including bullying.
  • poor organizational structure affecting how resources and information flow.

Naturally, when assessing factors contributing to mental health issues, problems in people’s personal lives must be considered, also an individual’s temperament, communication, and coping skills.

However, even people with excellent work habits and skills can crumble under the relentless pressure of a toxic work environment.

Take Care of Yourself

Human beings can put up with a lot, which is both a strength and a weakness. It has helped us survive as a species but also allows us to get used to situations that are harmful.

When an environment hurts our psychological health, we can be sure it is also hurting our physical health. If you are experiencing work related anxiety, low mood, feelings of irritability, hopelessness, and/or dwindling motivation, act to protect your well being.

Share your experience and feelings with family, friends, a coach, or trusted colleague, and see your doctor. Consider meeting with a mental health professional, or using your company’s EAP (Employee Assistance Provider). Consider carefully whether it is time to find a more supportive work environment.

Source: News in Mind
Photo credit: Phil Whitehouse

 
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