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    A Panel Of Business Leaders Shared How Workplaces Can Support Mental Health

    More than ping pong tables and free food.

    While we’ve seen more and more actors, singers, and athletes talk about their own mental health struggles over the last few years, mental health conditions arguably have the most impact in the workplace. I attended an event put on by Mind Share Partners with a panel of prominent business leaders talking about something I hadn't seen anywhere else—the future mental health in the workplace. Here are 6 takeaways from the conversation.

    More business leaders must be willing to share their own stories about mental health.

    Arianna Huffington shared her personal experience with burnout in 2007 that caused her to black out at her desk. That’s when she started seeing stress and burnout as a global epidemic, and eventually led to the launch of her new wellness startup, Thrive Global.

    We need to address mental health stigma.

    Dealing with mental health challenges goes beyond “just toughing it out.” What needs to be understood is that mental health is a spectrum, and companies need to provide an array of accommodations and access to treatment to help everyone be better employees.

    Companies must accept that people can’t compartmentalize their personal and professional lives.

    Employees bring their entire selves to work every day, and businesses must help them thrive. SurveyMonkey conducted research with Thrive Global and Glamour, finding that 25% of respondents expressed that mental health struggles affected their performance at work. Companies need to think proactively about programs, benefits, and offerings that integrate work and life outside of work.

    Create an “entry interview” when a new employee starts.

    Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

    Managers can ask new employees what is important to them both inside and outside of work. This allows for things like “taking my children to school in the morning” to come up and be known from the start. From there, managers can make allowances, like flextime, to ensure that an employee’s priorities are taken into account.

    Stop making stress and overwhelm synonymous with success.

    Raw Pixel

    The widely accepted notion that burnout is the price we must pay for success is causing tremendous suffering. 75% of primary care visits are for stress-related problems. We must change workplace expectations, letting people know they are not expected to be “on” 24/7. “You snooze you lose” is indicative of a toxic culture we’ve created in which being overwhelmed is a badge of honor. This has to change.

    Employers have a responsibility to do something different.

    Creative Commons

    Employers do not have to invest millions of dollars to make a difference. Instead, they simply need to be more thoughtful and innovative. Offerings such as PTO, employee sabbaticals, entry interviews, and flextime have minimal costs to a company and offer high value to employees

    More conversations like this will help to make companies better and employees stronger and more compassionate. For deeper insights, you can watch the full panel interview below.

    View this video on YouTube / Via
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