Editor’s Note: May is Mental Health Awareness month, throughout the month we will feature insights and best practices to help HR professionals accommodate workers with mental health issues. Today’s focus is on busting mental health myths and later this week, we’ll cover supporting veterans in the workplace. Stay tuned!
All employees, in companies large and small, will experience stress. This stress may be job-related, but more commonly, these human stressors include other elements of employees’ lives: a sick family member; marital strife; financial worry; and, most recently, anxiety over the COVID-19 pandemic.
At such a time of stress, the investments made in your employees’ mental health and well-being can mean the difference between a productive and an unproductive workforce. Stress may not be the cause of mental illness, but it often may act as a precipitant of acute mental distress.
During the past decade, there has been a tremendous uptick in research about the impact of mental health on the American workforce. It’s now an accepted fact that mental health matters. Now more than ever, investing in the mental health of our employees and reducing stigma will help companies bounce back to optimal function. To that end, it’s paramount for Human Resources professionals to know and address myths about mental health conditions.
Myth: Mental Illness Is a Sign of Weakness
Fact: Mental illness affects 1 in 5 U.S. adults and, hence, approximately 20% of people. These are complex conditions with many biological and environmental factors that contribute to development, including genetic risk, brain changes, and social stressors.
Advances in neuroscience and medical evolutionary theory have shown that mental health disorders and certain remarkable human qualities are positively correlated—characteristics such as creativity, persistence, and resilience.
Myth: People with Mental Illness Cannot Work
Fact: Diagnosis of a mental health condition does not preclude individuals from working. Many individuals in the workforce have mental health disorders. Based on severity, these get classified into any mental illness (AMI) and severe mental illness (SMI).
Like any other qualifying Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) disability, individuals with SMI can have a noticeable impact on cognitive functioning and limitations in learning complex tasks such that multistep complex tasks may need accommodation or reassessment of fit. Continue reading here…
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Source: HR Daily Advisor