Mental Health in the Workplace

October 8, 2017

According to the World Health Organization WHO, mental health is one of the fastest growing threats to public health in the world, especially depression and anxiety disorders. The mental health can sometimes be linked to the work and may be a combination of different parts of our lives.

Symptoms of mental health can occur with all of us. The boundary between being mentally healthy or ill can be a gray area. The technological development has made many jobs less physically exhausting and safer. At the same time, the mental burden for many has instead increased or become more apparent.

Mental ill health can range from mental illness and severe mental disorder to temporary mental disorders that affect more or less one’s daily life. Symptoms may include anxiety, depression, persecution ideas, concentration and communication difficulties. As a consequence, it may be difficult to take care of work, and shame and guilt can prevent people from seeking help.

There are many reasons for mental health. We are affected by a lot of stress, and to some extent it is hereditary. Being unable to control their lives, not having a functioning social network, and not finding a balance between privacy and work life can adversely affect mental health. Both too much workload with too little control and having too little to do can adversely affect mental health. Same thing if you think you work hard and do not get any reward for it. Reduced job security and worries about unemployment are also things in the workplace that can contribute to mental health. There may also be a connection to bodily illness, crises, economic stress, threats, bullying, segregation, discrimination, disability or alcohol and other drug abuse.

The employer should pay attention and adapt the work to the employee’s conditions. Shortened or flexible working hours may be needed and there should be opportunities for both community and privacy. It is important that the management team is prepared to support and intervene in critical situations. For a person with mental disabilities social support is important.

Some health factors in the mental health environment:

  • Participation – Being able to contribute and being needed. Influence – Being able to influence their work, both in the short and long term.
  • Development opportunities – To have the opportunity to personal development, to learn new things and to be responsible for their work.
  • Social relationships – Good social relationships with those you work with and with managers / management.
  • Justice – Everyone is treated with respect and no special treatment or harassment.

Where do I turn?

If you notice someone is mentally ill at your workplace, talk to your immediate boss. If the problem is not resolved, contact your security representative. If there is no security agent at your workplace, contact your trade union.

As an entrepreneur, you can contact the occupational health services or other health and safety consultants for assistance and support in the work environment work. You can also contact your employer organization.

If you are mentally ill, it may be difficult to break the negative spiral on your own. Talk to the Occupational Health, Safety Ombudsman or a good friend for support and advice. If you feel confident about the boss, you can turn to him or her. If you want to talk anonymously, you can also call your phone.

If you have questions about legislation and regulations regarding work environment, please contact us for details.