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Promoting Mental Health in the Workplace

Safety is paramount to landscape and lawn care companies. However, one aspect of safety that can be overlooked is mental wellness.

While it’s not as visible as not wearing proper PPE, neglecting mental health is just as serious. Poor mental health can result in negative job performance, communication breakdowns with co-workers, and unsafe actions on the jobsite.

Mental illness is often stigmatized and not discussed in the workplace but according to the CDC, nearly 1 in 5 adults aged 18 and over in the U.S. reported any mental illness in 2016.

Increase Awareness

The first step to dealing with mental health issues is to create an environment where employees feel comfortable discussing the matter without fear of judgment. If employees know it is safe for them to talk about their mental health issues, they are less likely to keep their struggles a secret.

Creating a culture of acceptance benefits the entire company, as individuals may realize they are not the only one who deals with mental illness. Knowing that others are seeking treatment can also reduce the stigma of therapy. Increasing awareness can also allow you and co-workers to show your support to another who is struggling. Simply showing you care about your staff’s well-being, both mentally and physically, can go a long way.

Provide Adequate Mental Health Coverage

Normalizing the discussion of mental health issues is important, but you need to back up your support by providing the help employees need. Providing comprehensive and integrated physical, mental, and behavioral health insurance coverage can ensure the employee has the resources needed for their specific situation.

Aside from offering insurance with adequate mental health coverage, providing access to Employee Assistance Programs can assist employees dealing with stress-related, emotional and psychiatric pressures that may limit their effectiveness on the job. Encouraging participation in free and anonymous screenings can help employees identify if they are dealing with a mental health issue.

Encourage Work-Life Balance

Work-life balance is essential for a healthy work environment. It reduces stress and burnout. As an employer is it your job to make sure your staff understands you want them to have a life outside of work. Encourage them to speak up if they feel their workload is too great and try to identify ways your company can work smarter, not harder.

Offer flexibility where you can and work with employees so they have the opportunity to spend quality time with their families. Having good work-life balance policies can reduce illness and absenteeism.

Click here to read how Utopian Landscapes changed its schedule for better work-life balance.

Jill Odom

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