May is Mental Health Awareness Month and, especially in these times of self-isolation, it’s a good time to remind your employees of the importance of taking care of their mental health.
According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), millions of Americans are affected by mental illness each year:
• One in five adults in the United States will experience a mental illness during their lifetime.
• Suicide is the second leading cause of death among those age 10 to 34.
• The rate of unemployment is higher among American adults who have a mental illness.
Poor mental health also affects an individual’s overall health. NAMI statistics show that people with depression have a 40 percent higher risk of developing cardiovascular and metabolic diseases.
To promote mental health in your office, encourage employees to:
Take Paid Time Off
Paid time off (PTO) is not just for illness or vacations. Employees who take a day off for their mental health often come back rested and refreshed.
Some companies have taken PTO a step further by offering unlimited vacation time. Many companies who have adopted this policy have found that they have reduced costs because they don’t have to pay employees for unused vacation time.
Learn More About Mental Health
Share news, quizzes, and other fun resources to help educate your employees about mental health. You also can host informative talks about mental health or host a wellness event at your workplace.
To encourage relaxation, some companies offer employees free or low-cost chair massages during the workweek to reduce stress.
Not Send Emails on Weekends
While there may be times employees must conduct business after hours for an emergency, experts recommend that it be the exception, not the rule.
Not Eat at Their Desks
While some employees are tempted to work while they have lunch, studies show that taking breaks throughout the day leads to better productivity.