Workplace wellness programs have gotten a lot of attention in recent years. Research shows healthier, happier employees can improve productivity and lower costs.
Most workplace wellness programs, however, tend to focus exclusively on physical health. In fact, behavioral health factors can have just as much of an impact on employee and workplace health.
Here’s how your organization can better incorporate mental and behavioral health into your workplace wellness plan.
What behavioral health issues impact employees?
Employees in all industries can experience behavioral health issues in the workplace, but what about when behavioral health is your work?
Behavioral health clinicians and addiction treatment providers work with patients on deeply personal issues. Many patients have multiple health conditions that are difficult to treat.
Addiction treatment providers also face heavy workloads from staffing shortages and increased, complex patient needs. Regulatory and documentation requirements also can create stress among behavioral health providers and reduce their sense of control at work..
Some mental health issues that can affect behavioral health and addiction treatment providers in the workplace include:
Stress and anxiety
Addiction or substance abuse
Why should employers be concerned about workplace behavioral health issues?
While most people would prefer to keep their work life separate from their personal life, work-related stress can bleed into non-work hours. Likewise, troubles at home can affect our mood and performance at home.
Behavioral health, like stress and depression, affects physical health, which drives up health costs. Some effects include a weaker immune response, increased blood pressure, sleep disruptions, and lower physical activity.
Mental health struggles can cause employees to withdraw mentally, which reduces teamwork and communication, reducing productivity.
Stress, depression, and poor health can increase absenteeism and employee turnover.
Unaddressed mental health issues at work can lead to medical errors, reducing quality of patient care.
How can you incorporate behavioral health in your workplace wellness program?
No matter your workplace wellness program, there is room for behavioral health. Even without a formal wellness program, behavioral health practices are easily incorporated into any workplace culture, .
Make a plan for your wellness program, with clear goals and ways to measure success.
Ask employees for feedback to determine what they want most in a workplace wellness program.
Try to incorporate physical activity into your workplace wellness program, as this can have a major impact on mental health. This may include gym memberships, fitness classes, or a dedicated exercise space in the office.
Encourage employees to connect on an appropriate personal level, which can help reduce loneliness.
Rather than stigmatizing time off work, encourage employees to use their sick days and vacation time. This encourages work-life balance, reduces employee stress, and improves morale and workplace engagement.
Rethink work hours and structure, offering flexible hours and telecommuting options wherever possible. Consider adding remote telehealth as a service, allowing therapists to meet with clients remotely.
Create a workplace culture that encourages collaboration and feedback, in which team members share each others’ burdens and communicate regularly.
Make sure your current employee health plan includes some form of mental healthcare.
Encourage a Healthy Workplace With BestNotes EHR
BestNotes EHR solutions are built with behavioral health and addiction treatment providers in mind to help make your work less stressful. Features like task management and customized calendars help you stay organized, not frustrated. Contact us today to learn more.