“Since about half the adults in the US will live in a diagnose-able mental health condition of depression or anxiety or another issue, that means it is either you or me. And if it is you, it is still me because you are my neighbor.” Phil’s Attitude
Normal Living Results in Mental Strain
Stress. Strain. Struggle. We do that. We call it life. The pressure of performance, the pain of loss and disappointment, and the overwhelming unmet urges of our human relationships fracture our mental and emotional stability. Nothing is new or wrong about that . About half the adult population will walk through a diagnose-able mental health issue in their life time. On any given day over 18% are in the struggle. Okay, so that is as normal as the flu.
Avoidance Does Not Help
When a co-worker, family member, or friend has the flu, we rally around them. We take extra shifts so they can rest and recoup. We ask how they are treating it and make suggestions.
When the same person is depressed or anxious, we hide. We avoid them. We isolate and make the problem worse. We become contributors to their disturbance instead of supporters of health. Why do we do that?
Employers Are Afraid
Though most C levels are concerned for colleague welfare because that affects the bottom line profits, they avoid compassionate touch. Send them to the HR outside support group to which research says they do not go. Sponsor a certain number of hours of psychological assistance to which a person suffering depression or anxiety is likely to wait an average of ten years to seek out. These things don’t work. They are nice and cover the legal requirements, but they don’t work. Supervisors, managers, and directors are instructed to stay hands off or write them up for unacceptable work behaviors and suffering colleagues spin down. Quality employees with a short term treatable condition are left to die. That is not always the case.
As a director/manager/supervisor for 35 years in healthcare, insurance, non-profit, and retail organizations, I have not seen it all. But I have seen a lot and been through continual training in what to do and what not to do. It needs to change. Colleagues need friendship and a compassionate ear. Employers need to express their care and concern outside of parties and bonuses. The workplace is suffering. Social structures of church and community clubs have burned down to low impact.
The Solution is Not Complicated
Compassionate and concerned employers and to be honest employers who know if they do something they will make more profits are taking action. They are boldly empowering the workforce to care, to listen, to come alongside. Mental Health First Aid is not complicated, but it does take training. It takes right approach. GET TRAINING FOR YOUR WORKFORCE. GET TRAINING
- Make an appointment with Phil and we will customize for you.
- Register for one of our open community events and come see for yourself how you can be a better boss, parent, partner, friend to those around you.
- Invest some time searching for mental health first aid on your favorite business website feed or twitter or linkedin and see what comes up.
- Do something. People count.