Unfortunately the past decades have seen a marked increase in the expectations of managers and employees in the workplace. This pressure can lead to individual, family and organizational stress. Stress and mental illness in the workplace can and must be managed with proactive, sustainable and visionary processes and outcomes. If this is done, productivity, customer service, the quality of mental and physical health and individuals lives are improved. All too often Fay Jackson, CEO of Vision In Mind, has witnessed managers and employees wasting time, money and quality of outcomes and lives by chasing solutions to symptoms rather than the solutions to the issues, the root causes, which underpin stress and mental illness in the workplace.
People who experience undiagnosed mental illness and stress are at an increased risk of not managing their lives and work well. Very often this lack of insight and responsibility may also lead to drug and alcohol issues.
Research has shown a strong link between stress, mental illness, drug and alcohol abuse, poor physical health and increase in accidents in the workplace and community.
It is important to note that all of the concerns mentioned pertain not only to the individual who has a mental health issue but also to their carers and families. Therefore the productivity of a carer or family member and their quality of life may also be affected if there is a loved one at home who is experiencing mental illness.
The HR issues involved with mental illness and stress are enormous. The business manager of one Australian airport revealed to Fay that mental illness was the leading cause of all stress, conflicts, sick leave, loss of quality employees etc. THIS DOES NOT HAVE TO BE THE CASE.
Another company was at risk of loosing their biggest client and being sued for breach of contract, loss of income etc which would have amounted to in excess of 10s of millions of dollars and essentially destroying the company leading to hundreds of positions being lost. Fay was able to recognize the root cause of the problems taking place. With a minimum of education and the design of proactive policies solutions were arrived at within a week. The contract has continued and quality outcomes and lives have been achieved.
The costs to the quality of life for individuals and the community from mental illness and stress of course cannot be accurately assessed, however it is certain that this is great as the World Health Organization quotes moderate depression as being as debilitating as chronic asthma or diabetes, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder as disabling as paraplegia and unmanaged schizophrenia as disabling as quadriplegia.