According to the World Health Organization, depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide. Worldwide, more than 300 million people of all ages suffer from this disorder. Americans are highly concerned with happiness, yet they are increasingly depressed: nearly 15 million Americans struggle with mental health issues, and the number is growing. According to a recent KFF/CNN survey, concerns about mental health and substance use remain high three years after the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, with 90% of US adults believing the country faces a mental health crisis. The pandemic has affected the public’s mental health and well-being, including isolation and loneliness, job loss and financial instability, and illness and bereavement.
What should a company do?
The Harvard Business Review published an article, “It’s Time for a New Era of Mental Health in the Workplace.” Employees do not experience mental health challenges in isolation. Employers also play a role – both good and bad. Some workplace factors negatively affect mental health. Additionally, the way we operate is often unsustainable. Employees are under incredible stress and pressure which results in them working longer hours and taking fewer breaks. It exhausts their minds and damages the mental health of the employees as a whole. Until recently, the conversation focused primarily on existing mental health conditions and the associated stigma. However, there is an increasing focus on the impact of work everyone’s Mental health. Over the past few years, HR/benefits leaders have said that mental health is a high priority. (stat)
How to prioritize mental health in the workplace
- Start talking about the importance of mental health, challenge old stigmas, and create an open environment for dialogue around challenging topics.
- Build a cross-functional team that can champion learning, experience, and meaningful moments with a supervisor.
- Provide empathy training
- Talk to your employees and conduct focus groups, surveys, and create a committee to prioritize mental health as individuals, groups, and even communities.
- Create social groupings, such as employee resource groups or work-based collaboration channels, that can foster a broader sense of connection.
- Setting boundaries to prioritize one’s mental health: “I’m on vacation. I’m supposed to return emails when I get back – but that’s not true. I’ll have my phone and I can respond if needed. And I’ll probably have to interrupt my vacation from time to time. Something urgent. Time to deal with. That said, I promised my wife that I would try to disconnect as much as possible, get out, and enjoy our vacation. So, I won’t answer messages until I get back. If at all. Yes. I need your attention, I’ll respond as soon as I can – if anyone else can help, here’s a list of very capable, very nice people who are not on vacation. Justin Krueger, 2023”
Volunteering can help with mental health
Servant Leader, Justin Krueger Adopts a nontraditional leadership philosophy, and embeds a set of behaviors and practices that emphasize giving back to the community and improving well-being. He started project helping, A non-profit whose mission is to teach and practice kindness to improve emotional well-being. The team developed a unique social platform called KyndHub.com to help companies encourage employees to practice kindness and mindfulness (kindness). From individual to corporate volunteer opportunities, his reach extends across the country. He has overcome many significant obstacles;
- Providing transportation, having concierge-type services, and validating community service hours. The most important part is that it’s easy!
- Kynd Kit in a Box Volunteer Project; Everything you need to make a meaningful project for someone is delivered to your door. Kynd kits are used for everything from personal volunteering to volunteering projects to corporate volunteering services delivered anywhere in the world – and everything in between.
- There are even Kind Kits for institutions, colleges, high, middle and elementary schools as well as home schools!
Volunteering connects you with others and can help you make friends. Volunteering is good for your mind and body and helps you feel happier and healthier. Volunteering can help you learn new skills, advance your career, and most importantly, you’re helping others. Need a reason to get started? Justin Krueger, husband Father Social entrepreneurship can find the real answer to managing depression through kindness to yourself, your family, your coworkers, and your neighbors.
Want to learn more and get involved?
On Kynd Conference April 27 at 8.00 am Dr Hilton Denver Inverness in Englewood, Colorado. This event is designed to engage organizations and individuals in volunteering and addressing mental health for our children, families, friends, colleagues and strangers. Expert speakers will share information about design thinking for volunteering, positive psychology, gratitude and more. Justin is a change-maker and started the discussion on how we can all make a difference as a volunteer and make a difference with the volunteer. Will you join the conversation, help make a difference, and follow Justin Kruger, CEO and founder of Project Helping and Kind Leadership to “be the change you want to see in the world.”
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