World Mental Health Day places focus on workplace

Staff Reports • Updated Oct 5, 2017 at 12:00 PM

Tennessee joined the rest of the world Tuesday to recognize World Mental Health Day, an annual observance with the overall objective of raising awareness of mental health issues around the world and mobilizing efforts in support of mental health. 

This single day of focus for the world provides an opportunity for all stakeholders working on mental health issues to talk about their work and what more needs to be done to make mental health care a reality for people worldwide. 

World Mental Health Day this year was directed toward mental health issues confronted in the workplace. 

A great portion of adult lives is spent at work venues and because of that activities in the workplace are considered major contributing factors to determine a person’s mental wellness. 

It’s determined employers and management who put in place workplace initiatives to promote mental health and who choose to support employees who have mental disorders or challenges see gains not only in the health of their employees, but also in their productivity. 

A negative working environment, on the other hand, can lead to physical and mental health problems, harmful use of substances or alcohol, absenteeism and lost productivity. 

Depression and anxiety disorders are common mental health issues that have an impact on an employee’s ability to work and to work productively. 

Globally, more than 300 million people suffer from depression, the leading cause of disability. More than 260 million are living with anxiety disorders. Many of these are victims of both. A recent study by the World Health Organization estimated depression and anxiety disorders cost the global economy $1 trillion each year in lost productivity. 

Volunteer Behavioral Health, a nonprofit agency that provides mental health and other health care services in Wilson and 30 other Tennessee counties, reminds these issues in the workplace impact small businesses and local companies just as they do those on the world stage. 

Behavioral health professionals at Volunteer said no workplace and no worker are exempt from these concerns. For more information about behavioral health issues in the workplace, visit vbhcs.org or call 877-567-6051.


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