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Work-related mental health and helpful interventions

For many employees in New York, working can actually stimulate positive feelings and boost mental health. However, for others work can be the cause of a variety of mental health issues. Negative working conditions can lead to anxiety and depression, which can also increase the chances of physical injuries. To avoid workers' compensation claims due to mental health, employers should integrate interventions that promote, rather than ignore or belittle, mental health.

According to the World Health Organization, the workplace can be the source of a number of risk factors that can lead to decreased mental health. The risk factors may include:

  • Inadequate support for employees
  • Poor management and leadership
  • Unclear organization and communication
  • Insufficient policies regarding safety and health
  • Overwhelming workload or inflexible hours
  • Psychological harassment

In these working conditions, employees are not the only ones that suffer. Employers are also affected in regard to lost productivity and missed work.

The American Psychological Association recommends workplace interventions to improve the issue of mental health. Intervention programs should have three different components. These include:

  1. The risk factors need to be reduced, not just acknowledged
  2. The positive aspects of work should be promoted
  3. All mental health causes should be addressed, even the ones related to factors outside of the workplace

Along with putting intervention programs into place, there are better outcomes when there is frequent and open communication between management and employees. With employees spending so much time at work, it is important for employers to recognize the close relation mental health has to the working environment and do whatever is possible to improve the issues.

 

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  • Walter J. Roesch IV
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