Prioritizing Mental Health at the Workplace and our Community

It is estimated that 60% of business owners experience an episode of depression once a week. Employees at all levels also deal with diverse mental health issues at several points in their careers. Mental health impacts all aspects of our lives, and the workplace is no exception. 

Only 20 percent of Latinos with a mental disorder talk about it with their primary care physician, according to the U.S. Surgeon General’s report, Mental Health: Culture, Race, and Ethnicity. Moreover, just 10 percent pursue treatment from a mental health provider.

There is an unfortunate stigma among the community about mental issues, and many LatinX prefer ignoring these conditions over discussing them openly.

To bring awareness of the importance of mental health among the LatinX community, we hosted Linda Ruvalcaba, MA, LPC, and a group of Latino Mental Health Professionals on August 11th, 2022, to talk about how to organize and support the mental health of our community.

During the meeting, the therapists and mental health professionals had the opportunity to network and plan the following steps to continue the group’s activities and bring awareness of mental health issues in the Latino community.

“This group fills my cup more than many other self-care activities do. I’m so excited to get reconnected with folks in person and grateful to @novleactivators for supporting me with this event.” Linda Ruvalcaba.

Mental Health -Linda Ruvalcaba
Linda Ruvalcaba – @therapy.girl

Mental Health Improves Your Business and Work Environment

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention of the United States (CDC), nearly 1 in 5 U.S. adults aged 18 or older (18.3% or 44.7 million people) reported a mental illness in 2016. In addition, 71% of adults reported at least one symptom of stress, such as a headache or feeling overwhelmed or anxious.

Studies show that depression reduces cognitive performance 35% of the time and physical capabilities by about 20%.

In contrast, taking care of your mental health has positive impacts not only on you but on your business, your workplace, your family, and your community, among them:

  • Improved communication with team members
  • Increased employee engagement and happiness
  • Improved creativity
  • Improved focus and productivity

How to Encourage Mental Health in the Workplace?

Follow these recommendations:

1.-You are not alone

Interact with your team and open the door to talk about their feelings. Communicate with team members that it’s okay to ask for help and seek advice and guidance. Take away the idea that everybody fends for themselves. 

2.-Take Frequent Breaks

Having breaks help people focus during work time. Do not expect that team members will be glued to their desks for hours but encourage some relaxation and intermission time from work. The reason: A burnt-out business owner, freelancer, or employee will not put their best work out there. 

The breaks can be as simple as taking a short walk outside, separating a meditation area at work, or having a team lunch where no business is discussed.

3.-Giving Back

Organize your workplace to volunteer for community events. Nothing gives a sense of purpose and accomplishment than volunteering for a good cause and sharing the feeling with your co-workers or team members.

For good reasons, many corporations formalize their team members’ participation in charities and community events. 

4.- Focus on Physical Health

Physical health and mental health are intrinsically connected. The workplace also needs to be a place that encourages physical health. It can provide access to healthy snacks, fresh water during breaks, setting a meditation, yoga, or quiet area to relax, etc., or organize walks with your team members as a healthy break.

Following these easy recommendations, and with little effort, your workplace will create a better environment to work where mental health is prioritized.

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