What is the stigma and stereotype behind mental health in the workplace?
- The problem arises when someone is dealing with mental illness and their work culture is not forgiving, does not allow the individual to express when they are having a bad bay or need to take some time away from work.
- When these individuals need support, oftentimes,coworkers may question whether or not the individual is really struggling, or are just using it as an excuse to take some time off or shirk responsibilities.
- 1 in 5 employees has a mental health problem
- Up to 80% of Americans will experience a diagnosable mental health condition at some point during their lives, whether they know it or not.(https://thriveglobal.com/stories/the-danger-of-workplace-mental-health-stigma-and-if-its-possible-to-move-past-it/)
- Depression and anxiety have a significant economic impact; the estimated cost to the global economy is US$ 1 trillion per year in lost productivity.(https://www.who.int/mental_health/in_the_workplace/en/)
What you can do to help remove stigma?
As a person with a mental health issue:
- Get treatment. Don’t let stigma hold you back from seeking help
- Don’t let stigma create self-doubt and shame. You may have the mistaken belief that your condition is a sign of personal weakness, or that you should be able to control it on your own. Seek help from mental health services and educate yourself about your condition.
- Speak out against stigma. Find the right forums to express your opinions whether at the workplace or in your personal life. Your speaking out may help build courage in others facing similar challenges.
As a friend, parent, partner or co-worker:
- Learn the facts. One of the best ways to remove stigma about mental illness is by understanding what it is and what it is not.
- Speak with dignity and respect. Choose your words carefully, use respectful language, emphasize abilities not limitations, and refer to the person not the disability or illness.
- Speak up. Tell people when they express a stigmatizing attitude or opinion.
- Support your co-workers. Ask and learn about the mental health policies and programs available in your workplace