(HealthNewsDigest.com) - Questions of solid mental health are some of the most delicate – and important for employers to consider and answer about their employees. It's important that everyone within the organization is operating at full capacity to keep the company growing. Beyond that, though, you have a responsibility to the people who are working for you, to see to their well-being. In many cases, this involves addressing mental health issues that may arise. The Mental Health Continuum Model helps you, as an employer, identify different stages of mental health and react accordingly for the best interest of all your employees.
A healthy person experiences normal ups and downs when it comes to mood and emotion, has relatively normal sleep patterns, seems to have plenty of energy, provides consistent performance and results, and is socially active.
To maintain good mental health among healthy employees, it's important to break tasks down into manageable portions, encourage the employee to focus on the task at hand, to make sure your employee knows about the support system in place should problems arise, and encourage that the employee focus on good health.
A person who is reacting might experience nervousness, irritability, or sadness. He or she may have difficulty sleeping and low energy levels. The employee may suffer from muscle tension and frequent headaches, have issues with procrastination, and suffer from decreased social activities.
A good response for employees in this situation is to recognize limits, get an appropriate amount of rest, get plenty of exercise, and eat healthy meals. You might even introduce healthy coping strategies to your routine, and explore ways to reduce or minimize stress.
People who are approaching the injured stages of the continuum may appear anxious, angry, or even hopeless. They have difficulty sleeping and suffer from chronic fatigue, aches, and pains. You will notice decreased performance in the workplace and may see signs of social withdrawal or avoidance.
In these cases your goal is to identify the signs of distress and seek to understand them. Seek help if you feel you need a little assistance coping with what's going on. At the very least discuss your feelings and your needs and turn to others for help rather than withdrawing.
At this stage you may experience excessive anxiety, depression, or anger. You may have a great degree of difficulty falling asleep or remaining asleep when you do. You may even have symptoms of physical illness due to exhaustion, stress, and anxiety. You have trouble functioning at work and call out sick frequently. You also avoid social events and prefer isolation to the stress of engaging with others.
This is the time when it's important to seek consultations for your own health and follow the recommendations of your care providers. Take your time to recover both your physical and mental health and stamina.
It is not the role of employers to diagnose mental health condition. Your role is simply to point offer support and accommodations for employees who are experiencing them. The ability to identify the warning signs of mental health conditions can help you take action to help your employees before they reach a point of personal crisis – not just for the sake of your business, but also for the sake of your employees who are, more often than not, like family.