Experts on mental health say worrisome mental health in workers makes them less safe on the job. This is the conclusion of participants at the National Safety Council’s SAFER Summit.
It was held late last month.
The serious decline in workplace mental health first came to national attention during the COVID pandemic. It brought about remote work and some social isolation that have negatively affected workplace life.
Experts, like Dennis Stolle of the American Psychological Association — apparently — have found a correlation between workplace injury and depression and anxiety. This from employees not feeling safe at work.
“There is more and more data coming out showing just how inextricably intertwined mental health and physical health are in the workplace,” Stolle said.
The safety and depression and anxiety correlation is now a concept according to Shanna Tiayon of the Yes Wellbeing Works. She and Stolle noted that research indicates that 20% of workers find their workplace to have high levels of toxicity.
Stolle said many of these workers suffer from insomnia and those sleepless nights make them fairly unsafe in the workplace.
Abigail Barth of the Foundation for Social Connection told attendees that redesigning the workplace and policies that improve flexibility and autonomy will help fix the problem as will a greater emphasis on intervention by employers.
She’s calling for de-stigmatization of social isolation and loneliness to help those struggling with mental health issues. This is especially important for younger workers.
“The current state isn’t supporting young people,” Barth said. “We have a future challenge to work towards.”
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