Chances are you are already aware of the challenges that work-from-home and COVID have presented in terms of mental health. You may also be trying to ensure mental well-being among your employees, especially now that most organizations have returned to in-person work environments, at least in some capacity. After all, there's nothing more important to your company than the well-being of your employees.
Employees want to feel valued. In fact, 69% of employees say they would work harder if they felt more appreciated at their work. It's more important now than ever before that you make sure your workers feel safe and supported.
To do this efficiently, here are workplace mental health resources and things to remember post-COVID.
DOUBLING DOWN ON MENTAL HEALTH RESOURCES
The time is now to make sure that your mental health resources are sufficient. Not only do you risk losing your top talent to the competition when you have insufficient resources, but you also risk a decrease in productivity, loyalty, and pride for working for your company among the employees who choose to stay.
Even more, COVID has already been shown to have a negative impact on mental health, and if you don't take those impacts seriously now, your team members could be at risk. In fact, the effects of COVID on recovery alone have been substantial, with professionals like Patty McCarthy, the CEO of Faces & Voice of Recovery (a non-profit organization), and Dr. David Susman, a licensed psychologist, seeing "more people due to isolation [who] need more support services."
Not to mention the long-term impacts of COVID-19 on recovery following an increase in the detection of drugs like heroin and non-prescribed fentanyl. Dr. Harvey Kaufman revealed to the host of Recovery Radio Zack Crouch, "In March [there was] basically a 20% increase in suspected overdoses, in April was 30%, and May was 40%. It's going in the wrong direction."
EAP programs are the safest, most effective way to support your employees, and experts on the topic are urging more companies to not only see this but do more to help.
"Now more than ever, companies need to provide employees with access to convenient, quality, and affordable mental health care to ensure workers are safe, healthy, happy, and productive," said Stephen Etkind, a consultant with First Stop Health and a psychologist in private practice in Massachusetts. "These are stressful times. Half of Americans say their mental health has been affected by the pandemic. When you add racial injustices and a recession into the equation, a mental health crisis is imminent."
THINGS TO REMEMBER POST-COVID
The pandemic changed a lot more than many of us realized. In many ways, it worsened things in areas that were just starting to gain positive traction, but it doesn't have to stay that way. There's no better time than now to continue making a difference and reversing the negative effects COVID has on businesses and employees.
PEOPLE ARE GOOD AT HIDING THINGS
You may think your company doesn't need mental health resources because your employees seem fine as they make their way back to work after the pandemic. That's not always the case, though. The truth is, having been isolated for so long, many people learned how to hide their mental health concerns better than before, especially since there is so much stigma around mental health issues.
It's important that you are cognizant of this to ensure you are pointing them to the right resources when they need it. Keep a close eye on productivity and social activity to see if you can spot any differences from before — you may just change someone's life for the better!
IN-PERSON WORK CAN CAUSE ANXIETY
Yes, it's true that many people are excited to leave isolated work environments and get to work with people again. However, the return to in-person environments can cause anxiety for some who got comfortable in their work-from-home environment. In fact, experts at Best Day Psych report that "the stress of big life changes can trigger onset or relapse of depression and anxiety."
The best thing you can do for employees in this situation is to listen and respond with flexible schedules. Making sudden and immediate changes can be harmful, but working with everyone at a more reasonable pace can make the transition much easier.
WE ALL NEED SUPPORT
It's crucial that we all continue to destigmatize the idea that mental illness should not be discussed in the workplace by offering EAP solutions and communicating these offerings. There is no reason anyone should feel like their mental health doesn't matter and should take a backseat behind work and others.
With that being said, it's amazing what vocal support for mental health can do for your employees, especially now that there is an increase in stress, anxiety, and substance abuse.
According to Mental Health, "Nearly nine out of ten people with mental health problems say that stigma and discrimination have a negative effect on their lives." It's about time that number starts to decrease until it is no longer relevant.
FIND THE RIGHT EAP PROGRAM FOR YOUR EMPLOYEES
There's no denying that COVID has had a significant impact on mental health, not only in the personal lives of many employees but in work lives as well. According to Forbes, as many as 47% of adults are now experiencing negative mental health impacts as a result of the pandemic, and that impact inevitably slips into their work lives.
Acknowledging the problem and breaking the stigma are the first steps to helping your employees, but offering the right EAP programs is among the most important.
When you're ready, contact our team at Employee Recovery with any questions or concerns. In the meantime, be sure to follow our blog for more information and resources on EAP programs, tips, and tricks, and advice on getting your employees through the pandemic and its impact on their health.
Together, we can all make a difference by providing the necessary support to ensure everyone is safe, happy, and healthy.
>> Click here to get more information on everything you need to know about EAP mental health resources.
How to Deal with Substance Abuse in the Workplace Using Compassion
As an employer, you care about your employees — not only the work they produce but their safety,...
What is the Employers Responsibility in Mental Health
The Correlation of EAP Solutions and Increased Productivity
Attracting, cultivating, and maintaining a workforce consisting of talented and productive...