Mental Health in the Business World – Is Training the Answer?

Last month was Bell’s “Let’s Talk” day, which was geared to bring light and give more attention to mental health issues, in an attempt to help end the stigma that surrounds mental health issues.  It really opened my eyes to the fact that so many are suffering from mental health issues, and the effect that it can have on businesses.  It also started a discussion that many may not have otherwise had.

We all have stress in our lives, but not everyone is able to cope.  Many employees don’t have someone to turn to.  Because of stigma, employees often don’t want to talk to their employers.  So often, managers want to help their employees, but do not know how.  They may have not had any training or prior knowledge of how to deal with stress and mental health issues in the workplace.  This is costing businesses nearly $6 Billion a year because of presenteeism and absenteeism due to mental health issues.

When management ignore the issue and sweep it under the rug, as many used to believe was the way to deal with depression, anxiety and other mental health issues that their employees may suffer from, it not only doesn’t fix the issue, it can cost the business time and money.

Management needs proper training and well defined policies in place, to know how best to approach employees they believe may be suffering from depression; training to know how to calm down an employee having an anxiety attack, and the know how to create a better work-life balance to improve the mental well-being of employees.  With this knowledge, they will not only save the business money in the long run, but they will create a happier, healthier work environment.

Offering training to management and supervisors, in how to deal with mental health issues will benefit all employees.  It will reduce costs, help reduce stress, reduce absenteeism, conflict and frustrations.  With just a bit of knowledge and a few small changes can improve productivity, performance work-life balance and morale, which will benefit the business as a whole.

There are a number of on-site and online training options available in Nova Scotia and across the country.  Two options are included below.

  1. Mental Health in the Workplace Training
  2. St. John Ambulance

Be well!


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