Wellbeing and Mental Health

Workers are burned out and suffering from increasing mental health issues. What you can do to make a difference, and build a stronger team.

Understand the importance of mental health and start to/continue to create an environment that supports positive mental health.

Written by Jenny Anderson, with guidance from Dr. Kali Cyrus, MD, MPH

Wellbeing, and promoting positive mental health, has rarely been a top priority for workers. But it needs to be.

You have to be well to work well. To be well, you need to be safe, to believe you belong, and to feel competent.

Covid-19 has increased the number of mental health issues people are confronting, from depression and post-traumatic stress disorder to isolation and loneliness.

But even before the pandemic, humans were feeling more isolated and lonely, with significantly less participation in churches, community organizations or extended family. Participation in each of those institutions is in freefall: church membership has plummeted from 71% in 1985 to less than 50% in 2018; marriage rates are low and extended families are rarely as connected as they once were; membership in community organizations has fallen dramatically. At the same time, many people are working more to make ends meet and survive in a gig/portfolio economy. So work has to do more than it did before, not just provide a paycheck and some nice colleagues. It has to provide more of a sense of purpose and more support for overall wellbeing.

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