From the WorkLife podcast episode- We should allow sad days, not just sick days
Mental health at work is not something that we often talk about. We feel overwhelmed, stressed, lonely, and these emotions can affect us in our jobs. Dr. Adam Grant in his podcast says that for this conversation to progress at workplaces, there are certain myths that need to be busted first:
Myth #1: Those who lead or perform are immune to mental health struggles.
It is important to recognize that anybody can have challenges with their mental health- recognizing this helps in destigmatization, which further signals that being vulnerable doesn’t prevent people from being strong leaders.
Myth #2: You just have to try hard enough to deal with your problems and get back to work.
There are some of us who learn to manage emotions unusually well but even if you rise to the occasion in the moment, mental health difficulties take a toll over time. Our job performance suffers when our psychological well-being is low.
Myth #3: Mental health issues do not belong in the workplace
It is often seen as a distraction, an unwelcome guest, something that needs to be kept away from work. When our emotional difficulties are not addressed, we inevitably bring it along with us into work and it can affect those around us too, i.e., ‘presenteeism’ also applies to mental health. Suppressing and not addressing mental health leaves people alone and to suffer in silence.
Being open about mental health in the workplace can have positive ripple effects across the team- it shows people that they’re not alone, it provides hope, and most importantly, it opens up space for vital conversations to happen throughout the workplace. But this responsibility shouldn’t fall on one employee- we need to build compassionate organizations where struggle is normalized.
Monica Jacob (MPhil Clin Psych, MSc Clin Psych, BSc Psych) is a psychologist who values trust, empathy, respect, warmth, and creativity in the therapy room and seeks to collaboratively help her clients lead more meaningful, enriched lives. Monica is passionate about understanding each individual’s unique journey and walking alongside them. She previously worked in hospital settings as part of a multidisciplinary team and provided psychotherapy to clients with various mental health needs in both inpatient and outpatient settings. Her clinical experience includes working with individuals experiencing mood disorders, anxiety disorders, substance use disorders, and adjustment difficulties. Monica is dedicated to improving her expertise and knowledge by receiving regular supervision and reviewing research to provide the best possible support to her clients.