Specialisation: Mental Health Issues

Mental Health Issues in the Workplace

Imagine a workplace where the primary focus is driving productivity, creativity, and employee satisfaction, and mental health is a secondary issue. This is upsetting, considering that mental health issues affect over 1.7% of the United States population, leading to a loss equivalent to 200 million workdays annually (Auten, D & Fritz, 2019). Some of the causes of mental health issues at the workplace are demanding work, stigma, and inadequate support systems. Behavioral and mental health issues are at a peak in the workplace for people aged between 20 and 30 years (Goetzel et al., 2018). The mental health interventions should include providing accessible resources, de-stigmatization, work-life balance, fostering supportive cultures, and mental health literacy. This article examines the effects of mental health issues in the workplace, intervention barriers, and effective support strategies. Organizations should foster employee’s mental well-being to improve employee morale, productivity, and overall performance.

Causes of Mental Health Issues at Workplace

There are multiple internal stressors for employees in the workplace, and most of them are based on work pressures and employee relationships. The causes of mental health issues include long working hours, poor support systems, harassment, work pressure, and understaffing. Stigmatization, stereotypes, and negative beliefs substantially contribute to changes in mental disorders and poor social interaction (Kelloway et al., 2023). There are many other stressors like unrealistic expectations, high workloads, and poor work-life balance. The managers trained on mental health issues are approximately 33%, despite over 80% believing that it is their duty (Dimoff & Kelloway, 2019). Also, stress can arise from the lack of social support, interpersonal conflicts, and organizational culture. Some employees have higher stress levels due to job insecurity and career uncertainty. Recent studies have associated the exacerbation of mental health disorders with harassment, bullying, and discrimination while in the workplace.

External Stressors

Additionally, mental health issues can arise due to external factors like personal stressors, long commutes, and financial pressures. The long commutes lead to energy drain and fatigue before work, while financial pressures increase anxiety. According to Kelloway et al. (2023), most workers find it challenging to balance professional obligations with personal responsibilities, leading to exacerbation in stress levels and inability to cope with high pressures and work demands. External stressors like health concerns and family conflicts reduce employees’ resilience and linger in the employees’ minds, reducing work performance.

Effects of Mental Health Issues in the Workplace

There is a surge in mental health disorders in the workplace, leading to increased absenteeism, decreased productivity, and escalated healthcare costs for employers. A 2016 summit report reveals that employers spent approximately $18.142 on health insurance, a rise from 2006 expenditure of $11,480, representing 58% (Goetzel et al., 2018). Mental disorders lead to a substantial impact on organizational success, evident through heightened absenteeism, reduced productivity, and increased healthcare expenses. Most workers experiencing mental health issues experience a lack of motivation, decreased teamwork, reduced focus, and insomnia (Kelloway et al., 2023). This substantially contributes to an increased risk of injuries, errors, and accidents, posing safety risks and financial losses. This is perturbing, considering that poor psychological health significantly contributes to poor impulse control, poor decision-making, and unhealthy decisions. The failure to improve employees’ mental health reduces innovation and creativity, leading to poor organizational performance.

High Turnover, Reputation Damage, and Decreased Performance

Mental health disorders contribute to the reduction in work performance and productivity in multiple ways. According to Goetzel et al. (2018), the most prevalent encounters of mentally ill employees are poor work focus, reduced task efficiency, and decision-making challenges. Also, mental issues exacerbate presentism and absenteeism, thus diminishing workplace effectiveness (Auten, D & Fritz, 2019). Presentism occurs in the form of physical presence at work and reduced performance. Dimoff & Kelloway (2019) contend that employee leave accounts for 70% of the claims in the disability cost. The prevalence of mental health concerns leads to negative perceptions about an organization’s culture and employee support and leadership. The upsurge in mental health issues tarnishes an organization’s reputation and publicity. This leads to employees’ anger, which can exacerbate resentment against the corporation.

Poor Interpersonal Relationships and Team Dynamics

Most employees experiencing mental health issues have strained interpersonal relationships and team dynamics. This leads to challenges in contributing to teamwork tasks and a decline in sharing innovative ideas that can transform an organization’s performance. Goetzel et al. (2018) assert that employees with mental health issues have a 70% performance compared to their optimal performance. The behavior changes associated with mental health disorders lead to increased conflicts, tension, and misunderstandings among colleagues. Stigmatization hinders open dialogue and support teams, leading to poor communication, collaboration, and cohesion.

Barriers to Seeking Mental Health Aid

Most workers are reluctant to seek mental health interventions due to stigmatization and discrimination. The fear of judgment, discrimination, or negative ramifications deters the employees from disclosure and seeking support from co-workers. The reluctance to seek assistance leads to exacerbated stress levels and perpetuates a cycle of suffering. The social stigma associated with mental health issues leads to embarrassment and shaming (Kelloway et al. (2023). Some employees are reluctant to seek mental care due to high costs, cultural norms, and beliefs. There is a vast population of employees who are unaware of mental health programs, while some have limited access to health resources. The leaders in diverse organization departments should collaborate to foster a friendly environment and offer social support to all employees.

Strategies for Promoting the Employee’s Mental Well-being

Organization leaders should be at the forefront of fostering mental health and well-being among their employees. The adoption of proactive strategies like the Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs) and providing managers and subordinates training about mental health issues is key in addressing mental health concerns. According to the demands-resources theorem, the provision of personal growth and development is fundamental in resolving (Kelloway et al., 2023). Proactive measures will create supportive environments that foster resilience and employee well-being. The leaders should promote an organizational culture that enhances empathy, diversity, inclusivity, and understanding. The essence is developing a supportive work environment where employees feel supported and valued.

Open Communication

Additionally, mental health discussions and open communication will encourage help-seeking and foster acceptance and a sense of belonging. Also, the provision of self-care resources and mental health education materials can empower employees to prioritize mental well-being. The success of education intervention implies that most employees are willing to disclose their mental health issues (Dimoff & Kelloway, 2019). The effort of supporting and showing employees value increases engagement and improves organizational performance. Mental health support increases employee morale, retention rates, and overall productivity. Addressing mental health issues creates a resilient and healthier team to foster a culture of fulfillment and success. Poor communication reduces turnover rates, mental health costs, and absenteeism.

Employee Empowerment and Work Improvement

The leaders should develop interpersonal communication with the workers to establish the causes of stress. Employee empowerment, social support, and fostering awareness are vital in solving mental disorders in the workplace. Kelloway et al. (2023) advance that a culture of bottom-up communication, interpersonal relationships, support, fairness, and social responsibility is vital in resolving mental health issues. It is fundamental to provide accessible resources like mental health literacy programs and EAPs. Providing support resources and services will foster confidential help-seeking and access to social support. Proactive measures are fundamental in creating a healthier and productive work environment for all employees.

Mental Health Literacy

It is important to train supervisors and managers to recognize and resolve mental health issues with immediate effect. The training will equip the supervisors and managers with essential skills for identifying mental health struggles and responding appropriately. This will promote mental wellness and provide effective support to their team members, making the employees feel supported and treasured. Managers’ training leads to high Returns on Investment (ROI), improved mental health resource usage, and higher mental health literacy (Dimoff & Kelloway, 2019). Likewise, training will foster empathy, understanding, and positivity in resolving workplace issues. Organizations’ investment in a healthier work team improves workers’ motivation and engagement, which leads to better organizational performance.

Summarily, organizations should improve employee’s mental health to improve employee motivation, output, and overall performance. Mental health issues in employees lead to high turnover, reduced productivity, and morale, affecting team dynamics, organizational reputation, and overall performance. Likewise, it affects productivity, safety, and turnover rates. Organization leaders should prioritize on de-stigmatization of mental illness and foster a culture of support or EAPs, open communication, understanding, and empathy. It is fundamental to offer literacy programs to leaders, and empowerment and flexible work schedules for subordinates. Focusing on mental health can foster innovation and resilience, driving high performance and better organizational performance.

References

Auten, D., & Fritz, C. (2019). Mental health at work: How mindfulness aids in more ways than one. Organizational Dynamics48(3), 98-104.https://doi.org/10.1016/j.orgdyn.2018.04.001

Dimoff, J., & Kelloway, E. K. (2019). Mental health problems are management problems: Exploring the critical role of managers in supporting employee mental health. https://pdxscholar.library.pdx.edu/psy_fac/202/

Goetzel, R. Z., Roemer, E. C., Holingue, C., Fallin, M. D., McCleary, K., Eaton, W., & Mattingly, C. R. (2018). Mental health in the workplace: A call to action proceedings from the mental health in the workplace: Public health summit. Journal of occupational and environmental medicine60(4), 322. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5891372/

Kelloway, E. K., Dimoff, J. K., & Gilbert, S. (2023). Mental health in the workplace. Annual Review of Organizational Psychology and Organizational Behaviorpp. 10, 363–387. https://www.annualreviews.org/doi/full/10.1146/annurev-orgpsych-120920-050527

Mental Health Issues: Stress

Julie, a 42-year-old female, is experiencing many stressors in her life. Julie is experiencing stress in the body system through headaches and difficulty sleeping, and she is experiencing an increase in illnesses in the body system. Stress in the body can come in many forms and symptoms, according to some of the studies from my research. The job that Julie works daily is a job with high demand and low control. Julie is also dealing with a myriad of family issues as well. Her mother has experienced a significant health complication, and Julie is responsible for her.

Workplace Stress Management

Priority and Delegation: Julie can collaborate with her supervisor to prioritize and delegate effectively. Research shows that distributing workload or having manageable expectations can bring down stress associated with work (Menardo et al., 2022). Sharing some responsibilities will create a more favorable work environment and make work easier.

Family Dynamics and Communication

Establish Open Communication with Family: Having cultivated open communication with her husband regarding the challenges that she is facing, studies show that strong family support is essential to cope with stress if there is understanding within her family. Emotional support is essential in being together for a solution (Gammage & Nolte, 2020). Having family meetings or trying family counseling might help to have healthier communication.

Personal Well-being and Self-Care

Prioritize Self-Care Activities: Julie’s overall well-being would significantly improve if she were encouraged to prioritize self-care activities. Research strongly supports the benefits of regular physical activity, adequate sleep, and relaxation techniques in managing stress (Martinez et al., 2021). By incorporating these activities into her daily routine, Julie can increase her physical and mental resistance to the overall stress and, therefore, stressors.

Support System and Seeking Professional Help

Build Social Support: Julie should reach out to friends or support groups to build upon her social support network. Research has shown that positive social connections improve mental health. Sharing experiences and advice with others can help Julie gain different perspectives and better cope with problems. She should also consider professional counseling or therapy (Kim et al., 2020). Therapy will enable her to gain insight and support to help her cope with difficult emotions and challenges.

Managing Elderly Parent’s Needs

When Julie begins to assist her mother, she could help her set up a support system, including a caregiving schedule, or research any community resources related to her condition and the current side effects that she is enduring. Research shows that the support of a caregiver is essential in avoiding burnout (Schulz et al., 2020). They can maintain their mental well-being and still provide and help care for their families.

In summary, Julie’s state of affairs emphasizes the complex interactions between task strain, family relationships, private fitness, and caring obligations. Julie might also better manage her pressures and beautify her trendy proper being by setting self-care first, encouraging open communication within her own family, seeking guidance from social networks, and considering getting professional treatment. Additionally, caregiver burnout may be prevented by implementing an assistance network for her elderly mom. By setting those ideas into practice, Julie may be better equipped to deal with her obstacles and maintain a happier, more balanced life for herself and her family.

References

Gammage, R. J., & Nolte, L. (2020). Understanding and Communication about an Adult’s Mental Health Problem by their Adult Relatives: A Systematic Review. Journal of Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing. https://doi.org/10.1111/jpm.12617

Kim, E. J., Yu, J. H., & Kim, E. Y. (2020). Pathways linking mental health literacy to professional help‐seeking intentions in Korean college students. Journal of Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing27(4). https://doi.org/10.1111/jpm.12593

Martinez, N., Connelly, C., Perez, A., & Calero, P. (2021). Self-care: A concept analysis. International Journal of Nursing Sciences8(4), 418–425. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijnss.2021.08.007

Menardo, E., Di Marco, D., Ramos, S., Brondino, M., Arenas, A., Costa, P., Vaz de Carvalho, C., & Pasini, M. (2022). Nature and Mindfulness to Cope with Work-Related Stress: A Narrative Review. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health19(10), 5948. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19105948

Schulz, R., Beach, S. R., Czaja, S. J., Martire, L. M., & Monin, J. K. (2020). Family Caregiving for Older Adults. Annual Review of Psychology71(1), 635–659. https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev-psych-010419-050754

Academic Stress Leads to Mental Health Issues

Zayed University students are facing mental health problems due to poor time management and academic obligations. However, this can be solved by providing mental health services for students and educating students on mental health problems. The paper will discuss the problem and its causes and two solutions.

Firstly, students at Zayed University are dealing with many mental health issues, which are related to the severe stress caused by a lack of time management skills and the high standards of their academic obligations. It is evident in the article “Frequency of depression, anxiety and stress among university students,” that approximately seventy-five percent of the students were found to have depression, eighty-eight percent were anxious, and eighty-four percent were stressed out of Pakistan university students. The article also mentions the various risk factors that cause mental health issues amongst university students apart from the academic factors like psychological factors, which include personality and self-esteem; social factors involving a social network; lifestyle factors, including flexibility; and biological factors involving physical health. Academic pressure appears to be related to a high rate of mental health issues among students. More so, we can see that the article concludes by saying that the symptoms of anxiety and stress are more frequent than depression, urging people to take urgent action to help students who have mental health problems due to academic pressure (Asif et al.,2020).

Moreover, a major cause of academic stress for students is poor time management abilities. Students are more prone to experience stress, anxiety, and overload when they do not have enough time to do their tasks and prepare for exams. Many mental health issues, like depression and anxiety, may result from this. It is evident from the article “Risk factors associated with stress, anxiety, and depression among university undergraduate students” that most students who take medical courses do not know the type of workload awaiting them at the Universities before enrolling for the course; hence, they find it soo hard to manage their time between classes, assignments and preparing for exams which eventually leads to academic pressure that causes stress, anxiety, and depression amongst students (Mofatteh, 2021). Therefore, a lack of management skills and high standards of academic obligations are the causes of mental health issues among students of Zayed University.

Secondly, emotional support and therapy should be provided for students in order to help them manage their feelings, and providing mental health services on campus is an important step towards reducing the issues with mental health that Zayeed University students face. Moreover, students seeking emotional support are more capable of handling the challenges of their studies while preserving their mental health. Several people may offer this assistance, including friends, family, teachers, and mental health professionals. It is evident from the article “Factors That Predispose Undergraduates to Mental Issues: A Cumulative Literature Review for Future Research Perspectives” that the academic pressure undergraduate students have on campus puts a lot of emotions on students, causing them to feel stressed, anxious, and depressed about their academic journey. Therefore, seeking emotional support ensures them that it is okay to be stressed and anxious but also helps them navigate smoothly through their academic journey, feeling appreciated and safe (Limone & Toto,2022).

Additionally, in another article, “Risk factors associated with stress, anxiety, and depression among university undergraduate students” it is evident that counseling can assist students in learning coping skills and how to control their emotions in situations when academic pressure is being faced. Many different forms of therapy are available, including interpersonal and cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). The article suggests that if the university and its administration could introduce online counseling to help students who are having a hard time at campus due to the various risk factors, academic pressure included, it would help meet all the needs of students having mental health problems since they will learn the various coping skills like how to manage their time between assignments and preparing for exams (Mofatteh,2021). Thus, when students of Zayed University seek emotional support and therapy or counseling, they will be able to manage their feelings, which will help them have better mental health.

Lastly, offering education and awareness initiatives that give students the skills and knowledge to identify and manage mental health problems will help Zayed University students address their health concerns. Education and awareness initiatives will help students know when to seek help for their mental health problems. Moreover, in the article “Factors That Predispose Undergraduates to Mental Issues: A Cumulative Literature Review for Future Research Perspectives,” we can see that university administrators should ensure that students are taught about identifying the various symptoms of depression, stress, anxiety, and even suicide and knowing that it is okay to feel how they are feeling mostly due to various risk factors and know how to handle such scenarios which will help them manage their mental health properly. Creating awareness ensures that students feel appreciated and have a sense of belonging when going through a stressful or anxious situation, maybe due to academic pressure (Limone &Toto, 2022). Moreover, students can learn how to cope with stress and pressure from their studies by engaging in education and awareness campaigns. Students’ academic performance can be enhanced, and their mental health issues can be managed with this support.

It is clear in the article “Frequency of depression, anxiety and stress among university students” that universities should ensure that mental health is taught as a course on Campus to ensure that all students take part in it. More so, when students participate in awareness campaigns, it gives them a sense of belonging and assures them that it is okay to feel such emotions, and they will be equipped with a skill of how to handle such feelings when experiencing anxiety, stress, or depressing situations (Asif et al.,2020). Consequently, Zayeed University students can learn how to handle their mental health problems through education, creating awareness, and participating in awareness campaigns.

In conclusion, stress, anxiety, and depression are mental illnesses that may develop through academic pressure. The high standards of academic obligations and the stress caused by poor time management skills are the main causes of mental health problems among Zayed University students. In addition to offering mental health services on campus, emotional support and therapy can assist students in bettering their mental health and coping with coursework stress. Providing educational and awareness programs that provide students with the ability to recognize and handle mental health problems is another important measure for overcoming mental health issues among students at Zayed University. Zayed University needs to take measures to reduce the coursework load on its students.

References

Asif, S., Mudassar, A., Shahzad, T. Z., Raouf, M., & Pervaiz, T. (2020). Frequency of depression, anxiety, and Stress among university students. Pakistan journal of medical sciences36(5), 971–976. https://doi.org/10.12669/pjms.36.5.1873

Limone, P., & Toto, G. A. (2022). Factors That Predispose Undergraduates to Mental Issues: A Cumulative Literature Review for Future Research Perspectives. Frontiers in Public Health10. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpubh.2022.831349

Mofatteh, M. (2021). Risk factors associated with Stress, anxiety, and depression among university undergraduate students. AIMS Public Health8(1), 36–65. https://doi.org/10.3934/publichealth.2021004