Mental health disorders affect millions of American workers, yet they are often not discussed. October is Depression and Mental Health Awareness Month, which offers a great opportunity to shed light on these often overlooked subjects to better understand the impact mental health has on “whole person health.”
For example, according to a 2021 American Psychological Association survey, nearly 3 in 5 employees (59%) said they have experienced negative impacts of work-related stress in the past month, and a vast majority (87%) of employees think actions from their employer would help their mental health.
The Connection Between Physical and Mental Health
When we think about health, physical health is often our first thought. The connection between mental and physical health, though, is undeniable. Depression and other mental health disorders can lead to physical symptoms, health conditions, and a lack of motivation to make healthy choices. The reverse is also true.
“Whole person health is more important than ever,” noted Dr. Karyn Hood, Head of Behavior & Mental Health for Newtopia. “Due to the global pandemic, the prevalence of depression and anxiety is substantial and pervasive. As employee populations begin to heal, particular attention needs to be paid to the mental health component of wellbeing. Newtopia is proud to be an integral part of that healing process.”
How Healthy Habits Impact Mental Health
When addressing and managing mental health disorders, healthy physical habits are an important asset. Eating a healthy diet, being physically active, and prioritizing sleep all support good mental health and resilience. Along with healthy habits, staying connected socially also positively impacts mental health. Sharing concerns with a trusted family or one of our health coaches, planning enjoyable activities, setting boundaries, and practicing mindfulness can all help manage stress, anxiety, and other mental health disorders. Encouraging employees to seek other resources or treatment when necessary for mental health conditions is also important.
Whole Person Health Approach
As we focus on bringing awareness to depression and mental health this month, now’s the perfect time to bring attention to and reinforce positive habits – specifically related to mental wellbeing. Newtopia believes in addressing physical health and its mental health impact, while improving resilience, and creating sustainable change.
As we come out of the pandemic, the negative emotions, stressors, and impacts on our employee populations’ mental health won’t automatically disappear. If not addressed, this impact could lead to or exacerbate chronic illnesses like obesity, hypertension, and diabetes.
This October, take the opportunity to reflect on the ways your company or organization is supporting the mental health of your employee population. If you’d like to do more to support employee mental health in your workplace, consider learning about Newtopia’s solutions here.