Mental Healthcare Improves Companies’ Productivity
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Although awareness has been increasing for years, mental health finally grabbed the spotlight following the negative effects of the COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns, teleworking and social distancing. Mental welfare among a company’s workforce translates into savings and production increase, said Javier Andrés Cardona Mora, Co-founder and CEO of 1DOC3.
“Emotional well-being is not about feeling happy all the time, it is about having the ability to your emotions balanced and knowing how to face challenges and problems. Mental welfare requires the ability to ask for help in the right moment, to the right person,” said Cardona. “The pandemic brought to light people’s non-expressed needs.”
Labor health cycle includes physical, social and mental health, explained Cardona. Social health is defined as the ability to interact and form meaningful relationships with others and comfortably adapt to different social situations. Work-related stress, caused by long workdays, heavy workload, job insecurity or conflicts with coworkers and bosses, is a growing problem that affects the health and well-being of employees and the productivity of companies. Mexico has one of the worst global rates surpassing even the US and China. In the Latin American country, 75 percent of the working population suffers from fatigue caused by work-related stress, according to IMSS.
“In Mexico, there is still a lot of ground to cover. Up to 85 percent of corporations might not offer the optimate conditions to take care of their employees, generating toxic environments to work and causing social disorders such as stress, work addiction, fatigue or even bullying,” said Cardona.
“If companies make mental health services more accessible and intervene in the workplace in ways that improve well-being, they will simultaneously make investments that will provide real improvements in employee outcomes and consequently in company performance,” according to management consulting firm McKinsey.
Although the considerable advances of mental health treatments in the last years, “therapeutic revolutions in psychiatry have not yet been able to reduce stigma,” which usually arises from lack of awareness, perception and the nature and complications of mental illness, such as odd behaviors and violence.
“Mental healthcare continues being stigmatized. Three out of every 10 companies do not take measures to change people’s perception, compromising health. In addition, 76 percent of Mexicans do not know how to respond to mental crises. It is crucial to know when and who to ask for help,” said Cardona.
While stigma is still present in Mexico, the pandemic changed some people’s perspectives. “One of the positive aspects of the pandemic is that there is no return to the stigma people had about mental health. Psychiatrists became more important than ever after the lockdowns and other measures that COVID-19 brought,” said to MBN Edilberto Peña de León, Director General at CISNE México.
The estimated office time of workdays in Mexico is 9 hours, 19 minutes, with an active 7 hours, 12 minutes. Some actions that help to maintain a healthier workspace are: promoting dialogue, give people the control over their own work, promote training activities, respect workdays and organize processes, said Cardona. “Clear processes among all compaies help preventing work-related stress and anxiety episodes.”
To end the stigma surrounding mental health, it is essential to break stereotypes about the work of psychologists and encourage people to ask for professional help, according to Cardona. Telemedicine has opened many doors in the healthcare world and has particularly benefited mental health professionals. While telemedicine and telehealth have been around for many years, the adoption of these technologies has increased significantly. “Mobile health applications are completely secure and protect your information, providing data protection, quality services, confidentiality and security for patients,” said Cardona.