Global Moblity Specialists Can Raise WHO Study’s Alarm about Work-Mental Health

Recent research has shown that work and mental health are deeply interconnected. According to a study by the World Health Organization (WHO), mental health problems are the leading cause of disability worldwide, and work-related stress is one of the main contributors.

It’s not only the WHO that has sounded the alarm.

Another report from the American Psychological Association (APA) highlights the effects of work these days on mental health, revealing that work-related stress can lead to burnout, anxiety, and depression, among other mental health issues.

It states that the pandemic has only exacerbated these issues, with remote work blurring the boundaries between work and personal life, leading to increased stress and burnout.

In addition to remote work, the report identifies several other factors that can negatively impact mental health in the workplace. These include excessive workload, long hours, lack of support from managers and colleagues, and job insecurity. The latter is more pronounced now with the increasing number of tech layoffs, especially among tech companies in Silicon Valley.

Culture of prevention must address these issues

Employers will need to take steps to address these issues and prioritize the mental health of their employees. This can include providing resources such as counseling and mental health days, offering flexible work arrangements, and ensuring that managers are trained to recognize and support employees who may be struggling with their mental health.

In addition to the APA report, a study published in the journal Lancet Psychiatry found that working more than 55 hours a week is associated with an increased risk of depression and anxiety. The study also found that people who work irregular or night shifts are more likely to experience mental health issues.

These findings emphasize the need for global mobility specialists to work with employers in prioritizing and assisting employers in addressing the mental health of employees. Employers should take steps to mitigate the negative impact of work-related stress. 

The WHO has called for a “culture of prevention” in the workplace, which includes addressing mental health issues through policies and programs that promote work-life balance, reduce job insecurity, and provide adequate support for employees.

The report highlights the importance of recognizing that work and mental health are intrinsically linked, and that employers have a responsibility to prioritize the well-being of their employees.

Other stressors

The possibility of an economic recession looms and could further add to the stress of employees. While previous economic downturns have shown that many businesses focus on cost-cutting measures, it is crucial not to overlook the importance of supporting employees’ mental health. 

In times of uncertainty and stress, employees may experience higher levels of anxiety and burnout, which can lead to decreased productivity and increased absenteeism.

Mental health support can take many forms, including access to counseling services, mental health days, and flexible work arrangements. Providing these options can have a significant impact on employee well-being and reduce the stigma around seeking help.

One critical aspect of mental health support is promoting open and honest communication. Global mobility specialists and employers must create a safe and supportive environment where employees feel comfortable discussing their mental health concerns. 

By normalizing these conversations, employees may be more likely to seek help when they need it, reducing the risk of long-term mental health issues.

Moreover, offering mental health support not only benefits employees but can also have positive effects on the organization. A supportive workplace culture that prioritizes employee well-being can lead to increased job satisfaction, better employee retention rates, and improved productivity.

During economic downturns, organizations must prioritize employee mental health support while balancing cost-cutting measures. There are several cost-effective ways employers can support employee mental health, such as providing mental health resources and promoting open communication.

Mental health support for employees

One way to support mental health is through Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs), which offer employees access to confidential counseling services. These programs can be cost-effective for employers, as they can reduce healthcare costs in the long term by promoting early intervention and preventing more severe mental health issues.

Another cost-effective way to support employee mental health is through flexible work arrangements. Offering flexible work options, such as telecommuting or flexible scheduling, can reduce employee stress and improve work-life balance.

Moreover, employers can prioritize employee mental health by providing mental health days or mental health breaks. These options allow employees to take time off work to prioritize their mental health needs and reduce the risk of burnout.