As much as society does a good job promoting public health, Dr. Helen Farrell argues that there is still a stigma surrounding mental health. It is highlighted as a scary, dangerous thing when really it does not have to be.
In the workforce especially, it is important to be aware of warning signs people may be exhibiting that could be a sign that they are internally struggling.
Examples of some warning signs:
- Very secluded
- Keeps door shut
- Does not join other people for lunch
- Does not engage in conversation
- Does not share any personal information with co-workers
Where is the line to determine if someone needs help, or if they are just busy and need alone time to get work done? The one question that must be asked is whether that person is actually being productive. If someone shows up to work every day, but nothing is ever getting accomplished, that could be a sign they are struggling with their mental health.
Dr. Farrell has some tips for how to be proactive and make your employees feel comfortable talking about mental health:
- Have mental health check-ins with employees
- HR can implement mental health initiatives to create a channel and culture where people feel comfortable talking about mental health.
- Training sessions throughout the year
Dr. Farrell believes there is a way to reduce the negativity surrounding mental health. People should not judge themselves or others if they are struggling. Reach out, say something, and seek help.