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Nik Shuliahin (Unsplash)
 

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has brought the importance of mental health forward in the public eye. As people were forced to retreat indoors to prevent the spread of infections, the world began to see the impact that living in isolation was having on us as social beings. Although the real implications of this pandemic may still seem somewhat uncertain at the moment, there is no doubt that employers now have more reason to invest in mental health resources if and when people do return to the office.

Whether it’s by providing wellness services in the workplace or formal mental health training to managers, there are many ways that a company can take steps to improve the mental well-being of workers. As a business owner, if you’re still finding yourself on the fence about the lengths you should be going to invest in mental health, here are a few reasons that may sway you in the right direction.
 
Ensures a Healthier Workforce

 
High levels of absenteeism can have negative implications for the efficiency of business operations. As a result, it’s in the interests of the company to ensure that its workforce remains as healthy as possible. This doesn’t just apply to physical health, though. Mental health problems account for around 40% of all sick days. Furthermore, studies show that an inability to talk about mental health means that people feel the need to come into work despite suffering from these issues, which inevitably make them less productive than if they were to take the necessary time off to get the proper treatment.
 
Improves Staff Morale

 
Being happy in one’s work environment is crucial when it comes to motivation. Creating a positive work culture where people feel comfortable and safe enough to disclose their mental health issues (at least to the HR department or their direct supervisor) is important. Furthermore, this also increases general workplace satisfaction, which goes a long way in terms of reducing staff turnover.
 
Increases Engagement and Builds Loyalty

 
A successful business tends to have loyal employees who will think twice before departing for a slightly better-paid position. Boosting mental health resources will also ensure that career decisions aren’t simply about the financial bottom line. Having a progressive approach to mental health in the workplace will have significant impacts on business performance, too, as you are likely to notice higher levels of staff engagement if their mental health is taken care of.
 
Demonstrates a Commitment to Corporate Social Responsibility

 
Before investing your CSR budget into various external causes, see if there are ways you could help those within the organisation first. Mental health issues don’t only cause problems within the workplace; they also affect the personal lives of many employees. By supporting initiatives that promote mental health, you may have a significant impact when it comes to alleviating the suffering that these conditions cause to your employees and their families.
 
Employers that make a concerted effort to understand the nature of mental illness and the implications it has on their business will build lasting connections with their employees in the long run. Investing in the mental health of your employees will not just have the effect of creating a happier workplace, it will also increase productivity by improving the focus of your workers. Furthermore, by having employees that are encouraged and supported in taking care of both their physical and mental health will also limit the number of sick days they need to take.