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2 April 27, 2015 Mental Health at Work

3 April 27, 2015 Objectives: 1.Discuss mind, body and soul interaction to achieve balance. 2.Develop communication strategies to successfully manage conflict in the workplace. 3.Identify community resources 4.Recognize the signs of workplace stress and anxiety including job burnout.

4 3 Note: The information contained in this presentation and being presented is provided for general knowledge and education. It is not intended as a replacement for advice from a medical professional.

5 4 The Connection + Workers’ Mental Health + The Work Environment

6 5 “Health” is a complete state of: Physical Well-being (body) + Mental Well-being (mind) also referred to as Emotional Health or Mental Health + Social Well-being (soul)

7 6 Our “Mental Health”  It has to do with how we function mentally. It affects productive activities, fulfilling relationships with others, and the ability to adapt to change and cope with adversity.  Our brain is an organ just like our heart, liver, kidneys – it can get “sick” and suffer from a mental health condition (mental illness)

8 7 Our Mental Health and Work  Our mental health affects our ability to:  Think and be productive  Be creative and innovative  Establish positive relationships with coworkers  Adapt to an ever-changing work environment  Cope with adversity

9 8 Basically, Work is Enjoyable  Provides structure  Opportunity to socialize  Provides a sense of accomplishment  Is a source of happiness

10 9  Downsizing  Mergers  Restructuring  Doing more with less  Change  Layoffs  Higher expectations  More demands  More pressure The Ever-Changing Workplace Can be a Jungle

11 10  Each year, in a typical office of 20 people, 4 will suffer from a mental health condition  1 million employees miss work each day due to work stress  Economy loses billions of dollars to mental health conditions each year As a Result…

12 11 COST TO EMPLOYERS Untreated mental disorders impact workforce productivity and affect the company bottom line. Mental illness and substance abuse annually cost employers in indirect costs an estimated $80 to $100 billion. 1 Individuals who are depressed but not receiving care for the condition consume two to four times the healthcare resources of other enrollees. 1 More workers are absent from work because of stress and anxiety than because of physical illness or injury. 2 Mental illness short-term disability claims are growing by 10% annually and can account for 30% or more of the corporate disability experience for the typical employer. 2 1 An Employer’s Guide to Behavioral Health Services, National Business Group on Health, December 2005 2 Marlowe JF: Depression’s Surprising Toll on Worker Productivity, Employee Benefits Journal, March 2002, pp. 16-20.

13 12 HIDDEN COSTS Employees with depression cost employers $44 billion per year in lost productive time. 1 More days of work loss and work impairment are caused by mental illness than many other chronic conditions such as diabetes, asthma, and arthritis. 2 Individuals with depression are about twice as likely to develop coronary artery disease, twice as likely to have a stroke, and more than four times as likely to die within six months from a myocardial infarction. 3 1 Stewart WF et al: Cost of Lost Productive Work Time Among U.S. Workers with Depression. JAMA, June 18, 2003, pp. 3135- 3144. Employer’s Guide to Behavioral Health Services, National Business Group on Health, December 2005 3 Sederer LI et al: Integrating Care for Medical and Mental Illnesses. Preventing Chronic Disease, April 2006

14 13 As a Result…  Increased employee absenteeism  Increased tardiness  Increased turnover  Diminished productivity  Performance problems/issues  Safety concerns/potential work accidents  These all have a negative effect on a business’ s bottom line.

15 14 The Workplace Can Sometimes Lead to: + Stress (+ Job Burnout) + Anxiety + Depression

16 15  Stress is a part of life, it’s all around us  Dealing with it successfully is necessary for adaptation and growth A Necessary Evil? Maybe.

17 16 Why We Feel Stressed  A combination of what is happening to us both on and off the job – each of us has individual factors  Try to balance work, family, friends/community, and self needs  Try to be all things to all people – “do it all”  Information overload/too many choices  A rapidly changing world (technology, terrorism – we’re forced to adapt)

18 17 Stress-Causing Work Conditions  Heavy workload/too many hats/rapid change/unrealistic deadlines  Hectic and routine tasks that have little meaning or tasks that do not utilize workers’ skills or capabilities  Inability to make your own decisions  Job insecurity/lack of opportunity for growth  Uncertain/conflicting job expectations

19 18 Stress-Causing Work Conditions  Isolation  Long work hours/shift work  Poor employer communication  Relationships (management, supervisors, coworkers, and subordinates)  Physical conditions (noise, air quality, personal space, equipment, ergonomic problems)

20 19 Signs of Stress  Feeling constantly overwhelmed  Strained relationships  “Little things” set us off frequently  Headache  Sleep disturbances/changes  High blood pressure  Withdrawal  Memory loss

21 20 Signs of Stress  Lack of concentration  Poor job performance  Changes in appetite  Low self-esteem  Nervousness  Upset stomach  Cold hands and feet – caused by poor circulation

22 21  Stress is a contributing factor in 80% of major illnesses:  Immune system is weakened, making us more susceptible to ailments  Cancer/ulcers  Heart disease/diabetes  Skin disorders  Workplace injury  And also, suicide.  The newest research shows that chronic stress can actually double our risk of having a heart attack Stress and Your Physical Health

23 22 Job Burnout: A Reaction to Stress  It can leave you feeling:  Powerless  Hopeless  Fatigued  Drained  Frustrated

24 23 Factors Related to Job Burnout  Overworked/too many responsibilities  Underappreciated  Resentful about duties that are not commensurate with pay  Confused about expectations and priorities  Concerned about job security

25 24 Early Warning Signs of Job Burnout  Dread of going to work in the morning  You care less than you used to about your job  Chronic fatigue – exhaustion, tiredness, a sense of being physically run down  Cynicism, negativity, and irritability  Anger at those making demands

26 25 How Do You Score? Take a Burnout Inventory.  Visit this web site:

27 26 Anxiety  It’s o.k. to experience “normal anxious feelings”  Almost everyone experiences anxiety from time to time  A normal reaction to stress  Is a worried, uptight feeling  Typically, it goes away when the triggering event is over  May grow out of a conflict between what we would like to do and what we think we should do

28 27 Anxiety: When it’s a Problem  When it becomes an excessive, irrational dread of everyday situations  Interferes with daily activities  When excessive fear or worry are out of proportion to the situation  Difficult to control  These feelings are more intense and last longer than normal feelings of anxiety

29 28 What is Depression?  A medical disorder with a biological and chemical basis  It affects thoughts, moods, feelings, behavior, and even physical health  Depression is the second leading cause of disability in the U.S. (ischemic heart disease is #1)

30 29 Factors that Contribute to Depression  Stressful life events (death, loss of job)  Environmental factors (continuous exposure to violence, neglect, abuse, disasters, or poverty)  Personality (low self-esteem) and personality traits (positive or negative)  Trauma/biochemistry/genetics /medications/or no trigger at all

31 30 Signs of Depression  Persistent feelings of sadness or anxiety  Loss of interest or pleasure in usual activities/withdrawal  Insomnia or oversleeping  Trouble concentrating/making decisions/thinking clearly – problems with memory  Persistent negative view of yourself, your situation, and the future

32 31 Signs of Depression  Loss of energy or increased fatigue  Thoughts of death, dying, or suicide Note: Signs take different forms for different age groups. Brochures are available in the back of the room on the these topics.

33 32 How You Can Cope

34 33 Help Give Stress the Boot  Proper diet, exercise, and sleep  Set realistic goals  Talk with others – it helps restore your energy  Help others – connect with a cause or community group  Take steps to try to recognize your own personal symptoms of stress  Look at your lifestyle – see what can be changed  Have some fun – take time for you

35 34 Stomp Out Burnout  Identify the job concerns that make you feel stressed  Talk to your supervisor about your concerns/changing job responsibilities  Focus on positive aspects  Learn effective time management  Improve your coping skills. Take the test at coping_short_access.html coping_short_access.html  Look at other job/career options

36 35  Use facts to deal with anxiety – they help “quiet” your mind and help you regain control  Medications  Psychotherapy (“talk therapy”) Dealing With Anxiety

37 36 Getting Beyond Depression  Seek medical help for an accurate diagnosis  Medications  Psychotherapy (“talk therapy”)  Re-establish harmony or balance within the body and in the lifestyle: aromatherapy; vitamins; and proper diet, exercise, and sleep Note: Visit to take a free online depression

38 37 Handling Workplace Situations “We’re all in this together.”  Remember that everyone reacts differently to situations and stress and may have different levels of flexibility  If you find yourself upset in a situation, try to remain calm so a more productive conversation can occur – if that’s not possible, explain that you need to step away. Always remember your body language.

39 38 “We’re all in this together.”  Addressing office gossip: walk away, change the subject, state “I’m not comfortable talking about other people…”  Communication: Offer ideas for improved communication at work. Be part of the solution.

40 39 “We’re all in this together.”  Dealing with someone who’s angry:  Make a friendly gesture (sit down, glass of water, visit in private)  Validate their feelings (“I can see why you might think that…” show you care)  Listen (Wait for them to finish, say “So, what I hear you saying is…”)  State your position in a manner that neither takes blame nor throws it (“I’m sorry this situation has made you so upset…”In the future, I will try to….”)

41 40 “We’re all in this together.”  The “office bully" who makes trouble: ignore them, talk to your supervisor and document inappropriate behavior, or address the person in a calm and self-assured way  The “Oops”, “I can’t believe I did that!”: address the issue timely, sincerely, and appropriately – then move on

42 41 Talk About It  Break down the barriers that prevent you from seeking treatment  Remember, asking for help is not a sign of weakness – taking care of ourselves is a sign of strength

43 42 Getting Help  Employee Assistance Program (EAP)  Your Human Resources Department  Your primary care provider  A spiritual or religious leader/counselor  Mental Health America of North Dakota: Dial 2-1-1 or visit

44 43  Calls are FREE and CONFIDENTIAL  It’s for everyday needs and in times of crisis  Serves as a “one-stop-shop” connecting people to health and human services information (our complete database of resources is on the web at – just click below the 2-1-1 logo)  Is staffed 24/7 by call center specialists  Serves all North Dakotans statewide  Resource Library (over 1,500 titles) online at Dial 2-1-1

45 44 Questions This presentation was developed by and is the property of MHAND, PO Box 4106 – Bismarck ND 58502-4106 Phone: 2-1-1 or 1-800-472-2911 Your comments and suggestions are welcome. Please email:

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