To share. Or not to share
That is the question. As an employer, do you know who in your business might have a mental health barrier? Do they talk to you about their struggles, and do you know how you can help?
It is reported that each year 1 in 5 Australians will experience poor mental health. Edge recently conducted research with employers and learned that poor mental health has risen amongst their employees since the start of COVID-19 in 2020.
Last week the federal government announced they have allocated $2.3 billion in funding towards mental health and suicide prevention over the next four years. At the same time, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg suggested that everyone knows someone who has struggled with their mental health at some point in their lives.
We came across an article on Heads Up that raised this question, highlighting the six reasons why employees may tell you, and six reasons why they may not.
Six reasons why employees may share.
- Discussing their condition gives them, and you, an opportunity to talk about any support or changes they might need to help them stay at work and/or assist their recovery.
- Adjusting their schedule or workload can reduce the number of sick days they need and help them be more productive when they’re at work.
- By sharing their experiences, they’re helping to change people’s attitudes.
- Being open with their colleagues can help to avoid rumours or gossip.
- If their performance or productivity has changed, telling their colleagues means they’re more likely to be understanding.
- If they need to make a formal disability discrimination complaint at a later date, telling their employer helps to protect their rights.
Six reasons why employees may not share.
- Their depression and/or anxiety may not affect their ability to do their job.
- They might not need any adjustments to their workload or schedule at the moment.
- They might be worried about potential discrimination, harassment or reduced opportunities for career progression.
- For some people, the depression and/or anxiety may pass, but the label and associated stigma can be permanent.
- Some employers fail to provide the legal level of support or follow legislative requirements.
- They might already have adequate support networks outside the workplace and feel there’s not much to gain by talking about their condition.
Did you know, Edge doesn’t only offer mental health training? We offer a a broad range of customised training solutions to suit employer’s needs. Our solutions are designed to support you to build confidence within the workplace and promote an inclusive, accepting and safe culture that increases productivity and positivity.