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Workplace Stress Hurts, but Mental Health First Aid Can Help

Women are increasingly stressed at work, they’re not talking about it and it’s affecting their ability to do their job. These are among the key conclusions of a survey conducted by Glamour magazine, in partnership with ThriveGlobal and SurveyMonkey (We Need to Talk About Mental Health at Work, Glamour, March 28, 2018).

The survey asked more than 1,300 women how their mental health issues, or a colleague’s, affected their careers and workplace happiness. Among the findings:

  1. 58 percent of women reported feeling stressed more than half the time they are at work.
  2. 53 percent said they don’t feel comfortable talking about their mental health concerns with others.
  3. Only 14 percent said they would speak to someone in their office if they felt anxious or depressed.

Workplace stress and the inability to talk to someone about it are taking their toll. Twenty-eight percent of all survey respondents said their mental health had affected their ability to do their job, including 41 percent of those who are 18 to 29 years old.

Brittany King was one of them. She cycled through a series of unsatisfying jobs before seeing a psychiatrist who diagnosed her with depression. “It was if I had been in handcuffs – physically and mentally,” King said. “My undiagnosed depression kept me in a haze.” King is now a career coach, helping others find work they love.

And it’s not just women who experience the negative effects of workplace stress. Jeffrey Pfeffer, author of Dying for a Paycheck, says that seven percent of people in one survey were hospitalized because of workplace stress, and 50 percent had missed time at work. He notes that stress is linked to chronic disease, and chronic disease is the largest component of rising U.S. health care costs.

A separate survey, Gallup’s 2017 State of the American Workplace, found that only 4 in 10 employees feel that someone at their job cares about them as a person. This reflects a level of disengagement that may result in presenteeism, absenteeism and accidents on the job.

But experts agree that having someone to talk to can help alleviate the isolation, confusion and fear that may accompany job-related stress. Mental Health First Aid at Work can teach you how to recognize and respond to mental health challenges in the workplace. The eight-hour course provides you with an action plan to assess risk, provide reassurance and information and encourage appropriate professional help. Many who take a Mental Health First Aid course find the strategies useful in dealing with their own challenges, as well.

Help reach out to someone experiencing challenges on the job by being trained in Mental Health First Aid. Find a course near you today.

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