If you have insurance with any of the major health insurance providers, when you log onto their web portal you will find resources to help not just your physical health, but also your mental health (which is not to be confused with mental illness).

According to the “Here to Help” website, which addresses mental health and substance abuse, “Everyone has mental health, just like everyone has health.  The same site says that while not all people will experience a mental illness,…everyone will struggle or have a challenge with mental well-being, just like we have challenges with our physical well-being from time to time.”  Physical ailments and the pain associated with them often contribute to an individual’s mental health status.

Grief, loneliness, hopelessness and fear are some of the feelings that can trigger mental health issues.  PTSD from abuse or other past events cause mental health problems too.  When these things are identified and addressed, the chances of developing a mental illness from them diminish.

According to the CDC, construction has the highest suicide rate of any industry.  CFMA provides helpful information for contractors on this topic including jobsite and workplace education.  But despite CFMA and other organizations increasing awareness, suicide rates are presently at an all-time high in our nation.

It is illegal for an employer to discriminate against an employee because you have a mental health condition. This includes firing you, rejecting you for a job or promotion, or forcing you to take leave.   However, it is not discrimination if your mental health has not been addressed and you are fired for non-performance of your job. A life choice to choose mental health treatment is similar to a life choice to be examined by medical professionals after a bad car accident.  You don’t know what might be hidden under the surface and cause negative consequences if the problem goes untreated. Untreated mental health can lead to mental illness if symptoms go untreated for years.

According to a survey by SHRM (Society of Human Resource Management), “61% of workers said their productivity was affected by their mental health.  37% of those surveyed said their work contributed to it.

For all the business owners reading this article, it is not just your employees you should worry about.  Owning and operating a business and providing a healthy and productive workplace helps to avoid potential stress that can cause unnecessary anxiety, loss of sleep, appetite or other adverse symptoms.  The saying that “it is lonely at the top” is very true.  The importance of having support from your key employees is a vital part of the overall mental health of an organization.

What are some signs that someone in the workplace may have mental health issues?

Oftentimes both employees and employers are hesitant to share challenges they are facing—and rightfully so if it is not communicated the right way.  Communication styles vary, which often plays a key role in how someone communicates and receives help.

A person with a Dominant communication style may charge forward at work until they absolutely need to address something.  He will often look for the quick fix in order to cope and get back to business, not realizing that is sometimes necessary to follow a process over a longer period of time.

A person with a Conscientious style may want to research many options and be hesitant to move forward, just-in-case there is a better option out there. Oftentimes C styles take so much time that they lose track of time, or follow a selected program to an extreme.

A person with a Support style may hesitate to get help if it means they might let someone else down whom they are caring for, thus delaying care they need themselves.  They oftentimes need someone to lead and encourage them to care for themselves.

A person with an Influence style may not take the symptoms seriously, and may even joke about their challenges and still be charging forth at record speed, and yet may be naïve as to how their mental health is truly affecting their ability to be on their game.

Regardless of how a person is wired, those of us in the workplace need to not be afraid to discuss with a supervisor if you see a significant change in someone’s behavior at work.  If you witness a teammate who used to engage with others, retreating in some way bring to someone’s attention.

A buried event from your past that could cause any of the following:

  • Anxiety/Depression
  • Quality of Sleep
  • PTSD
  • Addiction Networks
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
  • Attention and Focus
  • ADHD
  • Anger Management Issues etc.

You can get to the root cause of your challenges. Most of the time insurance pays for the full diagnoses and either all or most of the treatment.   One way to get help is through brain mapping.  Visit the website https://mybrainteam.com/ that explains this concept. Brain mapping has helped me balance myself throughout the day, and helped me rest well at night.

In these challenging times of isolation, it is more important than ever for all of us to be on our game with mental and physical health.  Remember we all have mental health.  That doesn’t mean we have a mental illness.  It means we need to care for our mental health like we do our physical.

To a Balanced Brain for Your Emotional Pain,

Suzanne Breistol

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