Combat Common Workplace Mental Health Issues with Training and Empathy

This blog was written by Marie Miguel of BetterHelp, a free online counseling and therapy resource for people struggling with mental health. Miguel covers a variety of health-related topics and has been writing and researching for nearly a decade. With an interest and dedication to addressing stigmas associated with mental health, she continues to specifically target subjects related to anxiety and depression. 

As a society, we’re paying more and more attention to mental health and its impact on job performance because we spend a lot of time at work. And we spend all of our time with our minds. Too often though, mental health training is overlooked because we’re still figuring out how to talk about it. My hope is this blog post will break the ice and we’ll learn what mental health training could look like at work. 

The following three mental health topics are prevalent at work, and by educating yourself on what they look like, you’ll be better equipped to watch for mental health red flags, train your team, and protect your own mental health.

But first, if you’re suffering from severe depression, anxiety, or another mental health problem, there’s no shame in talking to a therapist or counselor about what’s going on. Online therapy is a great way to get help—it’s convenient and confidential. Alright, here are three common mental health issues at work.

1. Burnout 

When someone is overburdened and feels too stressed to continue on, that employee’s mental health suffers. Burnout is usually a result of companies demanding too much and offering too little in return to help their employees cope with stress.

An employee who’s burnt out may need a change of pace or some time away from their assigned job. But, how do we prevent burnout in the first place? With training and empathy. We teach our teams to be compassionate and understanding of one another with open communication and great internal resources to combat burnout. Managers check-in frequently in 1:1 meetings. We delegate work so everyone’s workload feels challenging, but manageable. We send lessons to teams on an ongoing basis to show them what to watch for in themselves and their peers that could lead to burnout. We teach employees that they don’t have to do their work alone, and that it’s okay to take a break once in a while. 

When companies train their employees on their rights with regard to mental health, everyone on the team feels valued and included. The Americans With Disabilities Act, or ADA, explains all of this, but essentially as long as someone with a disability, be it physical or mental, can do their job with reasonable accommodations and isn’t a threat to themselves or others, they have every right to work. Training your team on ADA and other wellness procedures is essential.

2. Crisis Response 

Well-designed training matters, especially when it comes to responding to a crisis situation at work. If an employee has a mental breakdown, whether it’s at work or at home, that person needs empathy and kindness more than anything. When workplaces provide great training that sets the expectation that time, space, and resources will be freely given to a struggling coworker, employees feel invited to address their mental health and support their coworkers.

With crisis response employee training, employees are more alert and knowledgeable in both their professional and their personal lives. Most people have goals in both areas, and great employers encourage their teams to seek ways to healthily care for themselves and accomplish these goals to avoid any sort of breakdown, crisis response.

3. Balancing Work and Family Life 

A great way to protect the mental health of your employees is with a strong emphasis on the balance of work and family life. Too many employees feel like all they do is work, and training teams to build a schedule that allows for family life solves this problem. The best employers encourage their employees to make time for life, and they train their employees about this in onboarding, continuous training lessons, but most importantly, through general expectations and company culture.

Final Thoughts

Investing in mental health training and education for your workplace leaders is one of the best ways to minimize burnout, address personal and professional crises, and encourage employees to balance work and family life. Teaching employees how to take better care of themselves and each other pays off in the long-run because when employees are mentally well, they’ll Do Better Work, and everyone wins.

Use Lessonly to Train Your Team About Mental Health

Lessonly is powerfully simple online training software that helps teams create content to learn, practice, and perform like never before. Engage your team by providing ongoing training about mental health with Lessonly. Learn more and demo Lessonly today.

“Do more” feedback
The Three-Step Process for Better Agent Training