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Safety and Wellbeing-Mental Health

Safety and Wellbeing-Mental Health

One of the biggest challenges about mental health in the workplace is about diagnosis. Who decides if someone has a disorder? What are the signs or symptoms, are people afraid of being stigmatized in the workplace or have we built a culture in the workplace of put up, get on with it and move on to the next job!

However, awareness of mental health does not make us psychiatrists or therapists who are professionals in this respect over-night. Awareness serves as a knowledge tool to help towards prevention and the possible escalation of a situation.

In yesterday’s piece on Safety and Wellbeing, reference was made to the ILO’s perspective of workplace wellbeing amongst other things, as how workers feel about their work. It is always challenging to deal with ‘feelings’ in the workplace because the culture has always been to get on with things. However, things are changing and awareness around mental health is on the uptake.

Now, why talk mental health or Mental illness in the workplace? According to Statistics Canada, 1in 3 Canadians will experience some form of mental health or the other in their life time. Mental illness can be described as reduced ability for a person to function effectively over a prolonged period of time as a result of certain life situations like-

  • Significant level of distress,
  • feelings of isolation, loneliness and sadness,
  • feelings of being disconnected from people and activities,
  • changes in thinking, mood or behavior.

The workplace can be a representation of the world outside so, mental health problems at work are common. At least one in six workers is experiencing common mental health problems, including anxiety and depression. You might not be talking about it, because mental health is still a taboo subject. And many people feel scared and confused about confronting the issue at work. But there are small, simple steps you can take to look after yourself and make your workplace mentally healthier. In the next series tips, ways and information will be discussed on how to address mental illness in the workplace

Remember, you always have a choice, but only you can decide to do it the safe way. The safe way is usually not the shortest or quickest way, but it’s your decision.
Every reasonable precaution should be taken to protect yourself and promote our ZERO ACCIDENTS culture.
Be Safe!

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