MENTAL HEALTH POLICY
Our Mental Health policy outlines our provisions to prevent and address mental health issues among our employees.
Mental health is just as important as physical health. Mental illness may be detrimental to a person, as it impacts happiness, productivity, and collaboration.
Mental health issues may affect companies, in the form of:
- Poor employee performance
- Employee substance abuse
- Work-related accidents
- Workplace violence or harassment
With this policy, we aim to support our employees and create a healthy and happy workplace. We want everyone to feel appreciated and be treated fairly.
This policy applies to all our employees. Seren Healthcare Wellness committee is primarily responsible for communicating this policy and overseeing its implementation.
Our policy starts by seeking input from all stakeholders. We will consult employees, senior management, and mental health professionals to develop and revise our policy.
What are mental health issues?
Mental health issues in the workplace are any conditions that affect employees’ state of mind. These conditions may include mild depression, stress and severe anxiety which may result in burnout and nervous breakdowns. Substance abuse may also perpetuate mental health issues.
Mental health problems manifest in different ways. Some employees may suffer with no physical side effects, while others may experience physical symptoms (e.g. increased blood pressure, lethargy, changes in eating habits.)
Factors that cause mental health issues
Employees may experience mental health issues for various reasons that an employer cannot control (e.g. hereditary, family conflicts, general health.)
There are also work-related reasons for mental health problems, including:
- Job insecurity.
- Excessive pressure.
- Work-life imbalance.
- Lack of appreciation.
- Hostile workplace conditions.
- Unsatisfactory job or workload.
- Unpleasant relationships with colleagues or managers.
To every extent possible, our company’s leaders aim to recognize and address cases of workplace pressures that contribute to mental health issues.
We aim to:
- Treat mental illness seriously.
- Identify issues proactively and resolve them.
- Support employees who face mental health problems.
- Create pleasant workplaces in collaboration with managers, employees, unions and health experts.
To prevent employee distress, we will set up policies for:
- Workplace violence
- Open communication
- Work from home/ Flexible hours
- Parental leave/ Short-term disability leave
This list isn’t exhaustive. All of these policies aim to preserve a harmonious workplace where employees can enjoy their work and balance their jobs with their personal lives. All managers and HR must ensure the company adheres to these policies.
We encourage open communication between employees and managers. If employees have a work-related problem, they should speak openly to their managers. Managers are in turn obliged to listen to their employees and should search for a mutually satisfying solution together.
Managers should also proactively identify mental health issues among their employees. If they perceive that an employee is in a state of emotional or psychological distress, they should reach out to them.
Here are some tips on how managers can address an employee who suffers from mental health issues in common situations:
- If an employee has work-related problems, managers should come up with a solution.
- If an employee has issues collaborating with colleagues, managers should meet with concerned employees and serve as mediators. If the problem is severe (e.g. violence, harassment, victimization), managers should contact HR.
Open communication and support
We also want to actively support employees who are at risk of facing mental health issues (e.g. pregnant women, new parents, retiring employees.
Often, it is easier to reach out to a colleague instead of a supervisor or HR. We encourage co-workers to support one another when needed.
Compliance with the law
The law protects employees who suffer from medical conditions (e.g. clinical depression) or mental disorders (e.g. schizophrenia.) Consistent with our non-discrimination practices, we will treat these employees fairly and we will not oblige anyone to disclose their condition or other medical information. Instead, we will attempt to support employees who come to us with mental health issues and establish strategies that apply to everyone.
Also, we will make reasonable accommodations for people with mental disabilities (e.g. flexible work hours.)
This policy’s provision are not restrictive. We will test its elements to find out what works and what doesn’t. HR should continuously research mental health topics and evaluate the results of our policy with managers’ help.
To develop, revise and establish this policy, we need everyone’s help. We can all work to define mental health issues, their causes and seek or offer help when needed. We encourage employees to share their ideas and concerns.