It’s nice when you can be distracted from taboo subjects even if they happen to be really important things.

As a society, we cherish our distractions. And workplaces are no different. But there comes a time when avoiding taboo, uncomfortable, subjects – ‘elephants in the room’ – start causing too much harm. That’s the case with mental health. Easy to find other ‘priority’ projects to take precedent over mental health. But, poor mental health is already hurting us. Financially, an approved psychological injury claim costs around $250000. Lack of brand loyalty, poor team morale and wrecked workplace relationships are a very real cost too. So, why are so many workplaces so ‘laissez-faire’ about how they address mental health? What’s the problem?

Many workplaces adopt a reactive posture to mental health problems. They may be aware of a few problems – some individuals – who are struggling or who are ‘a bit high maintenance’ or who even have gone so far as to lodge psychological injury claims. The organisation deals with these seemingly ‘isolated’ cases by sending the person on stress leave, and perhaps for good measure, decides to run some ‘awareness’ sessions for employees.

“What will it take for businesses to start tackling mental health at work?”

The problem here is that, mental health problems in the workplace resemble the well worn iceberg analogy: the problems you know about are only the tip of a much larger iceberg that is a drain on your organisation’s morale and productivity, and a ready supply of future workplace mental health challenges.

Assuming mental health issues are isolated is perhaps the single biggest mistake businesses make.

By the way, the people with mental health problems that you know about are the proverbial ‘canaries in the coal mine’. The silent majority is just that: silent.

If you are ready to address the proverbial elephant in the room, please hit me up. I’d love to have a chat.

What are your thoughts on this? What has been your experience?

Have a Mentally Healthy day 🙂