Disclosing our mental health to others can sometimes feel scary. When we’re not sure how those around us will react, we might be hesitant to open up.
While it may be uncomfortable at first, being open about our mental health can have its benefits. Talking openly allows others to better understand us and can enable them to provide us with much-needed support.
The same is true for talking about mental health at work. Many of us spend a lot of our time at our jobs. We find purpose and fulfillment when we enjoy what we do at work.
On the other hand, when we feel isolated or burned out at our job, our work performance can slip. In fact, it’s common for employees to leave jobs due to burn out and work dissatisfaction.
In this blog, we’ll discuss the reasons why employees may not disclose a mental illness, how employers can benefit from having a mental health-friendly workplace, and how to start the conversations.
Mental health stigma can be a barrier for employees who wish to talk openly about their treatment and condition. There are several reasons an employee might not wish to disclose a mental illness, including:
When employees don’t talk about mental health, it can have a ripple effect. They might avoid seeking treatment if they can’t take time off to go to therapy appointments. Employees who feel misunderstood can feel isolated and their relationships with their coworkers can suffer.
When employees feel empowered to talk about their health, including their mental health, they feel supported and understood. This can impact many facets of your company culture and work environment, including:
Additionally, if you are a manager or leader in your organization, your support and understanding can have a positive impact. More employees might be encouraged to seek treatment when they see their coworkers doing the same. As more employees care for their health and thrive in all areas of their life, the health of your organization improves as well.
If you have thought about disclosing a mental health disorder to your employer, follow these steps to have a productive conversation.
People with mental health conditions are just as valuable as their peers. As with all things, you only need to disclose what you feel comfortable talking about. Addressing mental health with your employer can have positive outcomes and can enable them to support you. In the long run, it can improve how you feel about work and empower you to seek help when needed.
If you are a business owner or manager, you can encourage your employees to improve their mental health. Creating a mentally healthy workplace will undoubtedly benefit both you and your staff.
The Check-In Project is a mental health initiative of Wraparound Osceola, working to break the stigma surrounding mental health. Our goal is to provide employers with the tools and resources needed to create a workplace environment which fosters the importance of mental health of all employees.