How Have You Been Sleeping? Feeling Like the Blues Got You?

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October 18, 2018
 
Let’s talk about normalizing discussions over mental health. Think about a time when a co-worker had a cold. No one hesitates to ask about their wellness and checks in continuously to see if they are feeling better. Why can’t we see mental wellness the same way? Often, we see signs of “the blues” or workplace anxiety in colleagues and want to ask how they are feeling. How do we walk the fine line of being supportive while being mindful of the stigma of the term “mental health”?
 
Mental health conditions are fairly common and are often treatable, just like physical conditions. This raises the question, why are the two treated so differently? Powerful stereotypes shape our views of people with mental health challenges before we can understand what is truly going on.
 
A crucial component to mental health is sleep. A good night’s sleep has been shown to improve cognition, concentration, and performance while poor sleep can impair brain function. People who sleep well are less likely to face mental health challenges than those who don’t.
 

How can we become aware and establish a supportive work environment that prioritizes mental health? The first step is creating a stigma-free culture.

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A co-worker opening up about a possible mental health challenge should not be a sign of weakness, but rather a sign of strength to face their challenges head on.  When speaking about mental health conditions be sure to:
 
  • Watch your language, avoid offensive adjectives
  • See the whole person, not just the condition
  • Be supportive and inclusive at all times
Here’s’ how some of our members encourage positive mental health within their workplace:
 
  • (American Cancer Society) Teaches meditation techniques onsite to employees
  • (Canine Companions for Independence) Has a certified Yoga instructor on staff who teaches a free yoga class every Tuesday. They also have plenty of dogs around the office to offer stress relief when needed
  • (Cooking-4-Life) Emphasizes the connection between nutrition and mental health. They encourage employees to maintain a balanced diet filled with organic and homemade meals
  •  (Kaiser Permanente) Created a campaign in the workplace to support mental wellness and reduce the mental health stigma called Find Your Words
  • (Sharp) Has a free onsite express yoga class every Friday. Prior to meetings an emphasis is placed on maintaining a positive outlook
  • (Surrogacy Beyond Borders) Creates a positive word of the day, the word is written on a big board and said throughout the day
  • (Top performance Consulting) Has a dark silent space where people can meditate, the room is decorated to be peaceful and enhance relaxation


[1] “Reducing Mental Health Stigma in the Workplace”



 
Contact:
Debra Rosen, President & CEO
(858) 487-1767