Mental Health issues on the part of workers impact performance and productivity. No surprise there? But, what a can of worms this can be.
Work puts stress on brain and brawn. Sometimes, stresses surface as anger or illness. Business and industry have dealt with these outcomes with varying degrees of success for centuries. But, diagnosed and un-diagnosed mental health issues of the "bigger" sort seem more pronounced in the workplace these days. Partly this comes from information and education and partly a new honesty about issues and willingness to bring them to the office counselor for discussion.
The accommodation ethos required by the American With Disabilities Act allows and encourages those troubled with mental health issues to identify and record their diagnosis. In doing so, workers discuss problems more frequently - if not more freely. Even when reluctant, their symptomatic behavior may be obvious and warrant a follow-up by a qualified Human Resources professional.
An online master degree in psychology prepares any willing counselor to advise and direct employees on their healthcare options and their rights to ADA leave. Progressive HR professionals have a duty to maximize employee performance while respecting personal needs.
It does not take an online master degree in psychology for the average person to notice symptoms. For example:
Still, new problems raise new challenges for business:
If management and Human Resources know of any problem, management must do their best to protect the employee from any stigma generated by fellow employees. If the employee does not disclose his/her condition, the business has no specific obligation other than to extend fairness and understanding.
Psychology Today predicts a "tsunami" in the workplace from unresolved and proliferating mental health issues. But, there is no real evidence for this. Problem behaviors are not new to the workplace. They have new names and clearer diagnosis. New social awareness has designed new and productive responses. Strangely enough, quality improvement programs - along with the ADA - have helped manage these issues more positively, recognizing that working with problems is more productive than fighting them.