Mental health affects a great majority of the people in our country. In fact, most people will experience some kind of mental health issue over the course of their lives. If mental health problems are so common, why do we have such trouble talking about it at work? Here are some ways for you to be more open about mental health challenges as an employee and a business leader: 

As an Employee 

As an employee, you may feel afraid to bring up mental health with your boss because of how it will affect your career. Here’s how to talk about mental health in a professional way: 

  • Know You’re Not Alone: Knowing that the majority of people are experiencing mental health challenges can give you the confidence you need to talk calmly about your own challenges.
  • Avoid Oversharing: Often when someone asks for help, they feel as though they must justify the need. This is the same for mental health challenges. Try not to justify your mental health or any needs you have because of it.
  • Take Care of Yourself: Your primary concern when dealing with mental health issues should be your own well-being. Make sure you are doing everything you can to be in a good mental place. This will help you address your mental health issues in a stable, professional way.  

As a Business Leader 

Helping employees with their mental health as well as taking care of your own can be a lot of pressure to handle. Here are some ways to get started: 

  • Set an Example: If you tell employees they can take time off for mental health, but you never take time off yourself, you’ll be sending mixed messages. Make sure to utilize the tools you set up for your employees 
  • Take Action: Not doing anything about mental health challenges won’t make them go away. Listen to your employees’ complaints and suggestions and try to make a workplace that supports employees through mental health challenges. 
  • Set Reminders: Making changes to improve mental health and then ignoring them won’t be very effective. Remind yourself and your employees about the resources available to them.  

Follow this advice to have better discussions about mental health at your workplace.