The ongoing COVID pandemic has affected us all in one way or another. These times have brought many challenges, which can significantly impact all aspects of your life, including your job.
Dealing with extra stressors while still having to go to work, can take a toll on the mental health of employees. Quincy Medical Group (QMG) Behavioral Health Coordinator Nikki Shields said that recognizing and addressing mental health in the workplace is crucial.
“Mental health concerns of employees can lead to burn-out and affect their individual ability to be successful in and out of the workplace,” she shared. “In addition, poor mental health is linked to overall health and can lead to cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, and others.”
For employers, it’s important to support the mental well-being of their employees. Shields offer these tips for employers.
- Provide training and education to leaders so they can recognize the warning signs of mental health problems and promote a culture of support.
- Provide flexible work schedules and remote work options to help employees balance the needs of work and home.
- Offer fitness programs and opportunities to improve employees’ physical health. This can include exercise plans and support, as well as nutritional education. Good physical health helps in the prevention and management of mental health symptoms.
- Offer stress management training to employees to help cultivate skills for managing work-related stressors.
- Offer employee assistance benefits that include counseling or psychological services for employees.
- Provide sufficient sick leave, flexible vacation time, and unpaid time options to allow employees the time to seek treatment or have time for recovery.
- Allow for a flexible break schedule and backup coverage so that employees can take breaks throughout the day when they need them to better manage stress and mental health needs.
- Be sure your health plan provides for outpatient and inpatient mental health treatment for employees and covers frequently used and effective psychiatric medications so that these services are readily available to employees.
For information on Behavioral Health services offered at Quincy Medical Group, call 217-222-6550, ext. 3418, or visit quincymedgroup.com.