Action is the Antidote to Despair - Employee Mental Health Tips

Sad woman with depression sitting on the floor

These days, whether you call it despair, stress, anxiety, or depression, everybody knows somebody who is facing mental health challenges. Maybe one of those somebodies is on your crew.

Mental Health for Employees

Many people work separately, even more so since the pandemic, and when someone has a lot on their mind, being alone with their thoughts can make them more anxious, especially if that person is prone to worrying in the first place. Ruminating on “what ifs” all day long can increase anxiety and worsen mental health. Loud noises in the workplace can also increase the sense of isolation.

Mental Health Conversations are Hard 

The folk singer Joan Baez famously said: “Action is the antidote to despair.”

When you can, encourage your people to think about “I cans” instead of “what-ifs. If one of your people seems anxious, you could suggest thinking in terms of what they can do rather than thinking about the worst possible what-ifs.

If you’re not comfortable with discussing such, you can model the idea. For example, if someone asks “What if I get electrocuted? Working around electricity makes me really nervous.” You can make the conversation more positive or reassuring by responding with “I can” statements like “We can control the dangers and work safely by following lockout/tagout procedures.”

Additional Mental Health Resources for Employees

When “I can” statements are not enough, it is time to find some additional assistance. It is extremely common for adults to seek outside resources, therapy, treatment, or counseling for mental health support. There is no need for shame and one should take pride in taking care of their mental health! Contact HR if you need help. Below is a list of hotlines from the Centers for Disease Control which is an additional asset to leverage.

Use these resources if you feel like you’re facing a crisis:

Personnel Health Human-Resources