Published 2nd October 2018
There are two things that any person would need to make any success out of their life: Their ability to exist and their mental health.
Over the years we have learned that disability is not a massive problem when reaching for success. The truth is that if we want anything enough and if we are passionate, nothing can get in our way.
However, what happens when we do not look after our mental health? It may not be completely limiting, but it will make things incredibly had and, in some cases, it can be fatal.
Which is why it is so important to not just invest in your own mental health, but to also invest in the mental health of your employees.
It’s so easy in life to put your mental health on the back burner. We are all guilty of ignoring our own thoughts and feelings to put our family, work, friends and even society first.
It seems that it’s become the norm to put our own wellbeing behind everything else, maybe we feel like it’s not as important but that’s a myth, there is nothing more important than your mental health.
As an employer, it is your responsibility to ensure that employees are leaving their work, at work. You also need to make sure that while an employee is in the office, or when you are looking over that contract, that the employee has as much support possible to keep them as a happy, healthy, employee.
So, how much does our mental health actually affect our lives? How does it affect those around us? How will ill mental health affect your employees and in turn, your business?
- It affects our relationships, the way we communicate and the way we respond to situations. We can distance ourselves or attach ourselves. We can strain those we love or become so dependent that we can’t separate ourselves. Creating barriers and complications throughout personal and working lives. Making any environment more toxic and less safe for anyone in it. Remembering to encourage communication and to listen, that will prevent situations from going from bad to worse.
- It affects our ability to produce work. We just are not as productive or efficient when we have bad mental health, work can seem pointless and more draining than usual. It can lead to a person feeling the need to leave their place of employment. Or it may block the potential of one of your most promising staff members. Workflow will decrease, morale will filter, and your performance will dwindle. It’s common to have ripple effects in the workplace and we are all at risk of mental illness. Tackling errors and issues early, in a sensitive way can open a door to adapt, without anyone feeling harmed.
- It affects our health. We can develop insomnia and a low immunity to illness. We can develop symptoms that seem like we are ill but are completely down to our mental health. It can leave us confused on what is real and not, which is very stressful. And many of us, just struggle to even leave bed when our physical health is not what it should be. This means could leave to more sick days, the potential for employees to lie about their illness or in the long run, could leave to serious complications and liabilities to all. Encouraging and supporting good health, especially mental, will benefit absolutely everyone.
- It can even affect our own dreams and hopes. It may leave you feeling like you want a shorter life, that you are not content and that you no longer love what you do. Lifelong hobbies can become a thing of the past and any passion you had may cease. When passion fades from employees, so does their skill and their talent.
Remember, when your employee suffers, so does your business.
Essentially, bad mental health can attack a person’s life from literally every angle. None of us are immune to this, mental health never has and never will discriminate. So, what seems like a small sacrifice, can actually become a cost to quality of life.
If the cost is your, or anyone’s, mental health, that that cost is simply too high.
But investing in your mental health and the mental health of employees, through strong communication, understanding practices, and supportive protocols, will allow your business and everyone in it, to flourish.
There is no greater chance to invest in a product which will give you back tenfold what you put in, and that product is you and your employees.
Charlotte Underwood is a mental health advocate and freelance writer.