eMind Blog

August 10, 2022

Workforce Mental Health Is a Critical Issue

Workforce mental health is increasingly receiving attention with the consequences of COVID-19 and the uncertainties of remote work. A critical element in addressing mental heath issues relate to key distinctions in the terms we use. Gallup is a leader addressing these issues and has made significant advances in this space. eMindScience is pleased to contribute with knowledge expertise and distinctive tools.

Mental health is an amorphous term to many. Important distinctions include distinguishing mental health and mental wellness. Mental wellness is defined by the WHO as “a state of well-being in which the individual realizes his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to his or her community.” Thus, wellness is not just the absence of illness, but includes affirmative mental faculties and functioning. Mental wellness is important to enterprises, where creativity and cohesion in teams has a measurable impact on performance and productivity.

Mental health is defined as including"our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choices." Mental ill-health is the loss of mental health, with the more moderate and severe end of the spectrum labelled mental illness. Mental ill-health can be on a spectrum with normalcy. This is analogous to blood pressure, which is considered hypertension when a threshold on a continuous distribution is reached. Mental illness labels are used by professionals when specific criteria are met for a diagnosis, and these are categorical terms. Additional issues to consider include the relationships with general medical health, defining disability and quality of life concerns. Behavioral health, while synonymous to some with mental illness, is more a focus on addictive disorders and their consequences to individuals and society.

For workforce mental health and wellness to advance, we have to give it the same priority as general medical health. Workers can be free of mental distress and enterprises can flourish in a competitive environment.

eMind Blog