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Boosting Minds, Boosting Business: Understanding Mental Health in the Workplace

Updated: May 21



We live in a rapidly changing world that can be complex to navigate. About half of Americans can remember a time when we were not constantly connected and it was easier to tune out the noise of the world, while the younger half of the population can’t imagine life without the internet. Modern life can have a significant impact on mental health — for better or for worse. The disturbing imagery in the media we are exposed to today can be deeply unsettling. At the same time, our current technology also allows us to mobilize and provide collective support more efficiently in times of natural disasters or injustice.

And ironically, while our devices make us more connected than ever, loneliness is an increasingly serious public health concern. We are now able to have conversations with friends and family on the other side of the world in real time. However, constant connection also means that we will know if we weren’t invited to a friend’s party down the street. Recent survey data show that more than half of U.S. adults (58%) are lonely.

Finding a sense of calm and focusing on well-being when you are having mental health concerns can be daunting in our fast-paced society. It can be especially challenging to know where to start. May is Mental Health Month and McPherson|Berry is raising awareness of the important role mental health plays in our lives. We are encouraging members of the community to take action toward protecting their mental health and overall well-being.

This May, we want to help you focus you efforts on helping members of the your business, organization or community to:

  • LEARN how modern life affects mental health with new resources to navigate our changing world.

  • ACT by building a coping toolbox to manage stress, difficult emotions, and challenging situations.

  • ADVOCATE to improve mental health for themselves, the ones they love, and their community. If you think you may be experiencing symptoms of a mental health condition and are unsure of where to start, take a free, private mental health test at mhascreening.org to determine next steps.


Here are 5 things you can do for your #mentalhealth this week:


1. Make a list of 5 things you’re grateful for today.

2. Practice positive affirmations.

3. Start a conversation about mental health.

4. Stay hydrated!

5. Take a break from screens.


What do you say when you’re not feeling “fine”? Here are a few alternatives:


  • “I’m actually going through some stuff.”

  • “Today is not my day.”

  • “I’m feeling some kind of way.”


WHAT BUSINESS LEADERS CAN DO:


  • Announce your Mental Health Month plans to your staff to encourage workers to participate in the month’s activities and learn about available supports.

  • Share openly with your staff how you prioritize mental health in your personal and professional life.

  • Encourage workers to take an anonymous and confidential online mental health screening atmhascreening.org.

  • Educate workers about your organization’s benefits and resources that support mental health.

  • Light up your work locations green, the official awareness color for mental health, and ask workers to wear green in May.

  • Host a workplace wellness event for all staff.

  • Find new ways to uplift workers, ensure they are valued and heard, and improve your organization’s culture by reviewing your organization’s mental health practices.


It’s important to remember that working on your mental health takes time. Change won’t happen overnight. Instead, by focusing on small changes, you can move through the stressors of modern life and develop long-term strategies to support yourself — and others — on an ongoing basis.


Footnote: mhanational.org

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