Mental Health in the Workplace: How to Recognize and Address It
Mental health in the workplace is frequently discussed during the month of May. But we must talk about it beyond Mental Health Awareness Month. It is too critical of an issue to be swept under the rug once June rolls around. According to the World Health Organization, “mental health is a state of well-being in which every individual realizes his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to her or his community.” Unfortunately, mental health issues are often not taken seriously until they become a major problem. In this blog post, we will discuss how to recognize and address mental health in the workplace, specifically when it comes to your women talent.
Mental health in the workplace as important as physical health
It is important for companies to recognize that mental health is just as important as physical health. There has been a positive correlation between the pandemic and an increase in mental health problems. A study done by the CDC found that 40% of adults reported struggling with mental health or substance abuse. This is a significant increase from the past and shows that now, more than ever, it is important to be aware of mental health in the workplace.
The first step in addressing mental health in the workplace is recognizing potential signs. Some common signs of mental health problems include:
- Feeling overwhelmed or constantly stressed
- Difficulty concentrating or making decisions
- Changes in eating or sleeping habits
- Withdrawing from friends and activities
- Increased use of alcohol or drugs
Supportive environments, strong inclusive leadership creates positive environment
Mental health is often viewed as a personal responsibility. While it is important to take care of oneself, the reality is that mental health is also greatly impacted by one’s environment and social circles. The pandemic has brought mental health to the forefront of society and the system is finally recognizing the value of addressing mental health. For example, workplace stress existed before the pandemic but now it is further amplified. Creating a supportive environment and implementing policies at work has promoted good mental health at various organizations. Growing strong inclusive leadership creates a ripple effect of positive change throughout the organization, especially when the leaders are equipped to handle the workplace challenges.
Data has shown that when employees feel they belong in their workplace, the productivity of the organization skyrockets. Unfortunately, women in tech fields tend to have greater work-related stress that may result in them experiencing depression. This is further exasperated due to the “double burden” of paid work and unpaid care work. Organizations can make a difference in their mental wellbeing by providing support and opportunities for development. Women can thrive in their organization when leaders invest in their development.
Identify the challenges women face to promote better mental health in the workplace
When it comes to technical/STEM roles, women are often underrepresented. This makes it difficult for women in these fields to find mentors and can be either a barrier to entry or the reason behind women leaving the field altogether. As a matter of fact, ‘The Great Resignation” that many companies are seeing is primarily being led by women. Companies can use this as an opportunity to focus on the unique challenges that women face in the workplace. Obstacles need to be identified and addressed to bring about meaningful change. In the Tech environment, the obstacles that women face is often different than those faced by men, and as a result, require a distinct set of solutions. This is where Gotara can help. As the career growth platform for women in Stem, Gotara is committed to helping women reach their full potential in the workplace. We provide resources and support that allow women to thrive in their careers nanolearning, giving them the tools that they need to be successful. Gotara’s proprietary content is by STEM women, for STEM women. In addition to our content offerings, we also provide a community of like-minded women who can support and mentor one another. We know the challenges and struggles that come with being a woman in a male-dominated field, hence we understand how to address those hurdles accelerating your career.
In as little as 8 weeks, we are seeing positive changes in the women who participate in our STAR programs. They are more confident and feel more supported in their career journey, leading to a decrease in anxiety and an increase in self-esteem. They also feel more equipped to handle challenges that may come their way. Being able to navigate these challenges with confidence can make all the difference in someone’s career journey. In fact, many women after the program are indeed seeing acceleration in their careers via promotions or bigger scope and higher visibility roles. When women feel more supported, they can perform better and are more likely to stay with their company, creating that pipeline of woman talent that is essential to the future of the organization. Not only that, but they are also more likely to mentor and support other women, creating a multiplier effect within their companies. We also have a STAR program for leaders of women, which helps them to understand and support the women they lead. Leaders that understand and support the women they lead create a more positive environment for everyone, not just women.
Gotara is proud to be making a difference in the lives of women in STEM, and we’re just getting started. Let us give you a demo of our platform and see how we can help you create a more supportive environment for your women employees.