One of the most important things to recognize about mental illness is the fact that we all know someone who struggles with mental health problems. Far too often, we consider mental health only in the context of its most extreme examples, namely, in its many often-erroneous depictions in film and TV. We have a horrible habit of scapegoating mental illness as a way of avoiding tackling bigger social problems. The real causes of these problems are often protected by powerful lobbying groups.
There are no such protections for those suffering from mental illness.
That is why we have to protect and respect them ourselves. Mental Health Awareness Week is all about giving our colleagues, friends, and family members who live with mental health issues, the attention, and compassion they deserve. Here are a few ways you can mark this week-long event the right way at your place of work.
How to Make It Work
Some steps you can take to ensure that Mental Health Awareness Week makes an impact at your place of business are as follows:
- Send out a memo to employees alerting them of the event
- Maintain a friendly, open, and accepting demeanor regarding the issue
- Offer a link for employees to sign up for an anonymous mental health test
- Afford employees the level of privacy they need in order to take advantage of it
- Make sure employees who find themselves in need of treatment get it
- Make sure your employees are educated as to the reality of mental health
- Share information regarding mental health
Maintain a Healthy Workplace
Above all, you need to make sure that your workplace maintains a positive atmosphere in terms of mental health and awareness thereof. You want to do everything in your power to reduce stress factors and make it easier for those dealing with mental health issues to work at your place of business. Employees should feel free to work without fear that their mental health condition will be exacerbated or used against them.
Show those with mental health issues the respect they deserve – not just for Mental Health Awareness Week, but every day.