Being open and honest about how we’re feeling at work is sometimes hard, but know this: If you’re a little anxious, fatigued or even burned out, you are not alone. The pandemic continues to change the ways we work, learn, and connect – and it can be a lot to cope with. That is why Balanced You is committed to fostering mental wellbeing at work.
We’re all in this together, and we can move forward together.
Mental health and substance use challenges are not uncommon, insurmountable or something to be ashamed of. Pre-pandemic, an estimated 264 million people were living with depression globally. In the United States, one in five adults experience a mental health challenge each year. But even though everything feels especially tough, there are steps we can all take to support our coworkers’ mental wellbeing as well as our own.
To start shifting from surviving to thriving, you can also follow these tips from Mental Health First Aid at Work:
1. Help reduce stigma
High-performing teams can unintentionally isolate coworkers who may be feeling depressed or anxious. Speaking openly about mental health concerns, stress management and self-care can help your coworkers feel more comfortable voicing their concerns and needs. Make time and space to ask people how they are really doing, and be prepared to listen nonjudgmentally to their responses. Doing this lets your coworker know they are not alone.
2. Practice building a resilient mindset
Just as you would tend to an acute physical injury, you need to address an emotional or psychological challenge. The mind and heart can be incredibly resilient – we just have to help them along. Create a self-care routine for yourself, establish routines where possible, and maintain healthy boundaries. Modeling good self-care practices and boundaries is great for the whole team.
3. Make wellness a priority
Building good, healthy habits can improve both physical and mental health. When you take care of yourself, you improve your ability to function at a high level inside and outside of work, and that makes you better able to help others.
How to move forward together at work
- Check in with a coworker:
- “Would you like to talk?”
- How are you — really?”
- “Is anything bothering you?”
- Be a good listener
- Don’t criticize or judge
- Make the time and space to really focus
- Give empathy, hope and respect
- Build resilience
- Focus on improvements within your control
- Maintain healthy boundaries
- Practice self-care and good sleep habits
- Establish a foundation of trust
- Reduce stigma through honest conversations
- Model wellbeing for yourself and others
- Provide reassurance and empowerment
World Mental Health Day 2021 Challenge
Know where to go for support:
- Download the King County Mental Health Benefits and Resources guide.
- Sign up for a Mental Health First Aid@Work training. View our schedule here.
- Review past Balanced You blog posts on Mental Health
Questions? Contact BalancedYou@kingcounty.gov