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Mental Wellbeing in the Workplace

Posted by Teresa Bartlett on December 4, 2018 at 4:53 PM

 

Provide Mental Support to Your Employees

Through yearly wellness screenings for health risk assessment purposes, your human resource policies can provide mental health support to your entire staff. Some examples of promoting wellbeing include encouraging employees to use their paid time off and allowing flexibility in work hours to accommodate very specific needs. Additionally, it helps to not only encourage exercise and mindfulness practices such as meditation, but to also offer the space and equipment for those activities. Even the option for onsite daycare can serve as a great boost to your staff and their overall wellbeing.

Employee Assistance Programs (EAP), which are valuable programs to help eliminate stress, can provide training for management with regards to specific situations where a telephonic and/or in person counselor may be needed. Low or no-cost concierge services can help eliminate and/or mitigate stress by assisting a new parent find childcare, assisting an individual find care for their elderly parents, serving as a professional shopper or assisting with travel planning. Some may even be able to help decipher and explain health care bills.

Anyone can experience episodes of stress, anxiety and/or depression based upon their life circumstances. As an employer, it is important to be aware of the differences in each situation, which can vary depending on the resiliency of the individual, whether or not they have suffered with post-traumatic stress previously in their life, etc. Examples of adverse events that may affect an employee’s psyche include drug or alcohol abuse, the loss or death of a close family member and divorce.

Tools a Claimant Organization Can Use to Screen for Mental Wellbeing

When assessing an employee’s mental wellbeing, it is important to be respectful of the individual, display empathy, facilitate honest communication and listen carefully to the employee to garner insight into solutions to improve the employee’s mental state.

PHQ-2 and PHQ-9 questionnaires are quick depression-screening tools that can be used in conjunction with a pain rating tool to determine how an individual is feeling. There are also GAD (Generalized Anxiety Disorder) screening tools that gauge an employee’s attitude toward their injury and workplace after the injury has occurred. It is vital to extend as much understanding to your injured workers as possible to ensure that they are taken care of.