It’s that first line that should grab your attention because so many people do not see mental health struggles as something that impacts them, or will impact them. But the numbers don’t lie. Someone you know, probably even someone very close to you, is dealing with mental health struggles as you read this. Someone you work with is doing the same themselves or supporting someone else who is.
How great would it be if we all recognized that and provided a safe place for them to talk about those struggles instead of not welcoming their voices and causing more harm?
I don’t think we can even imagine how helpful that would be because we see it so infrequently. It’s time for that to change.
The interesting thing to think about is not just in regards to your own managers. This extends out to clients, partners, customers, etc. When they are allowed to constantly shift the goalposts and your response to your employees on the front lines of those relationships is “eh, you know how they are”, consider the fact that you are not keeping them safe. It’s not just an irritation, it’s creating an environment that is not psychologically safe for them. It is doing harm.
This gets old, and as the quote above says, it contributes to a loss of trust and cynicism. It might also lead to a ton of burnout too.
This is sometimes a missing piece regarding mental health and work. It’s not just the people who work for you, it’s the people who work for you with kids or other family members dealing with mental health issues. “Why do employers need to take a leadership role in addressing this crisis? For starters, young people…
They also point out that whether being lonely causes that change or whether that DNA change makes someone more likely to feel lonely is unclear. What is clear, though, is that helping someone feel less lonely is a worthwhile goal. Helping someone feel like they are part of a community and have something to offer that community helps them. It’s one of the keys to suicide prevention too.
If work gets in the way of this happening, if abusive relationships or stigma get in the way, it can have fatal consequences.
As we consider what the future of our workplaces should be, we’d do well to remember that our people have lives outside of work and are better off when they can enjoy the people in their lives outside of work.