Mental health myths: it makes for a bad employee
People with mental health needs, even those who are managing their mental illness, cannot tolerate the stress of holding down a job.
People with mental health issues are just as productive as other employees. Employers who hire people with mental health issues report good attendance and punctuality as well as motivation, good work, and job tenure on par with or greater than other employees.
When employees with mental health problems receive effective treatment, it can result in:
1. Lower total medical costs
2. Increased productivity
3. Lower absenteeism
4. Decreased disability costs
Employees that deal with mental health concerns are common, and reducing stigma in the workplace is essential to both accepting the whole person as well as valuing their contributions to the company. Taking steps to support mental health needs are just as important as providing adequate support and care for physical health. In fact, being gainfully employed and valued can have positive effects on a person’s mental health.
According to the World Health Association, research shows that unemployment, particularly long term unemployment, can have a detrimental impact on mental health.
The WHO maintains that organizations have a responsibility to support individuals with mental disorders in either continuing or returning to work. Adjustments can be made. In particular, flexible hours, job-redesign, addressing negative workplace dynamics, and supportive and confidential communication with management can help people with mental disorders continue to or return to work.
It’s true that stress in the workplace has become one of the leading issues facing mental health today, if not our society on the whole. And it can affect any employee, regardless of the current state of their mental health. Important steps taken by companies to support the total health of its employees by reducing stigma and lowering barriers to treatment options demonstrate a clear choice to place value on the people that dedicate their efforts to workplace.
The reality is that in recent years, job stress has both caused new mental health issues as well as exacerbated existing ones. So, the myth that people experiencing mental health concerns are not strong enough to handle the stress of a job is short-sighted at best. Job stress affects everyone, at all levels of any organization. Rather than stigmatize and marginalize, the solution is support, communication and compassion. A good employee - someone who shows up to work, ready to work - exists across the mental health spectrum. If you want to bring mental health support into your work world in the Bay Area, reach out to reflect to find the right therapeutic support for your professional and personal needs.