Mental Health Month

IT'S October again, that means it is mental health month. October 10 is when mental health advocates around the world celebrate world mental health day and month.

The World Federation for Mental Health, which the leads the observance, is an international membership organization founded in 1948 to advance, among all people and nations, the prevention of mental and emotional disorders, the proper treatment and care of those with such disorders and the promotion of mental health.

The World Mental Health Day was established in 1992. Each year the group identifies selected topics each other to draw attention to the importance of mental health, knowing there is much to be done to increase public education and advocacy.

This year, in its 25th anniversary, their theme is “Mental Health in the Workplace.”

The World Federation for Mental Health (WFMH) calls on each and every one to join them as a partner in this advocacy.

One in every five persons experiences a mental health condition. We are encouraged to learn more about mental health, share his/her story and to spread the word. Let go of stigma and be more open in talking about the condition.

This theme focuses on the discussions on defining the best practices in promoting mental health in the workplace. It also hopes to decrease negative attitudes and discrimination of mental health. It also will help empower individuals to promote mental health and dignity for all.

There are three important reasons why they chose this theme:

• Work life balance is a priority for many employees.

• are looking for a good work/life balance and strong diversity policies to support their well-being at work.

• The workplace and workforce are changing and traditional ways of looking at the workforce may not hold for too long. Many employees are beginning to favor a workplace that cares for their well-being.

According to the information pocket from WFMH, here’s the ideal mental health friendly workplace:

• Welcomes all qualified job applicants; diversity is valued

• Includes health care that treats mental illnesses with the same urgency as physical illnesses

• Has programs and practices that promote and support employee health-wellness and/or work life balance

• Provides training for managers and frontline supervisors in mental health workplace issues, including identification of performance problems that may indicate worker distress and possible need for referral and evaluation

• Safeguards confidentiality of employee health information

• Provides an employee assistance program or other appropriate resources to assist managers and employees

• Supports employees who seek treatment or who require hospitalization and disability leave including planning for return to work

• Ensures “exit with dignity” as a corporate priority, should it become essential for an employee to leave employment

• Provides all-employee communication regarding equal opportunity employment and the reasonable benefits with wellness programs that promote an accepting, anti-stigmatizing, anti-discriminating climate in the workplace.

Is your workplace mental health friendly?
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