Mental Health and the Workplace
Bosses say they care about mental health — can workers trust them?
Denise Guerra, Samantha Masunaga (February 23, 2023)
The Hidden Link Between Workaholism and Mental Health
There is compelling evidence that some people treat their emotional problems with work as well. This can lead to its own kind of addiction. Many studies have shown a strong association between workaholism and the symptoms of psychiatric disorders, such as anxiety and depression, and it has been common to assume that compulsive work leads to these maladies. But some psychologists have recently argued reverse causation—that people may treat their depression and anxiety with workaholic behavior. As the authors of one widely reported 2016 study in the scientific journal PLOS One wrote, “Workaholism (in some instances) develops as an attempt to reduce uncomfortable feelings of anxiety and depression.”
As Anxiety-Related Discrimination Complaints Rise, Here’s How To Protect Yourself
Tom Spiggle (May 16, 2022)
Mental health for small workplaces
How High Achievers Overcome Their Anxiety
🤝 Make the anxiety an ally.
🤗 Practice self-compassion.
😂 See the humor.
🧘♀️ Try guided meditation.
🛑 Say no to the negative thought.
Infographic on Managing Someone with a Mental Health Condition (PDF)
Seven tips to support an employee at work
This fact sheet is endorsed and supported by WorkSafe Victoria.
Because everyone’s circumstances are different, a plan to help someone return to work or stay at work will need to be tailored for the individual, taking into account some general points. A good question to ask yourself is: “What would we do if it were a physical illness?” Many of the management principles are the same, including:
1. Offering support
Ask the person if there is anything you can do to support them to remain at or return to work. This may include advice about where to get assistance. The employee may not wish to take up your offer, but it’s important to let them know support is available.
2. Developing a plan to remain at or return to work
Collaborative plans that meet both parties’ needs – rather than something to be complied with – are much more likely to succeed. Don’t make assumptions about what the employee finds challenging or what will benefit them. Rather, talk about it together as you work through the following steps:
3. Being inclusive
Experiencing anxiety or depression can make people feel less confident at times. Help the employee to feel more comfortable by including them in meetings and work social events to support their recovery. Fear of stigma – actual or perceived – can also affect people’s confidence. Speak openly about mental health conditions in the workplace and encourage others to do the same.
4. Staying in touch
If an employee has taken some time off as part of their recovery, keeping in touch will make their return to the workplace smoother and easier for everyone involved. Maintaining connections with colleagues and the workplace can help employees feel valued. It also gives them an opportunity to give their opinion on decisions or changes in the workplace, even if they aren’t there. However, it’s also important that the employee doesn’t feel pressured to return to work before they’re fully ready.
5. Addressing the causes
If there are specific work-related factors which the employee feels have contributed to their condition, it’s important that you listen to their views and take action where appropriate. This can help to improve outcomes for the individual and for the organisation, as well as ensuring that other employees are not at risk.
6. Setting clear expectations
Good planning prevents confusion. Writing up a return to work or
stay at work plan which includes the nature of duties and hours
of work sets clear expectations for all involved. Everyone should agree to be flexible to allow for any changes that may occur during recovery. Any agreed workplace modifications should be implemented gradually to allow for adjustment.
7. Maintaining confidentiality and privacy
While it’s important to inform the wider team of any changes that affect them, such as reallocating workloads or a reduction of hours, the details of the employee’s condition and treatment must remain confidential unless they give their permission. Talk to the person about what they would like other colleagues to know and how they’d like to share this information.
Managers aren’t doing enough to support anxious employees—here’s how to start
1. Check in with everybody — and more than once
2. Connect employees with the right resources
3. Be as vulnerable as you feel comfortable with
4. Depersonalize the feeling
How to manage an employee with anxiety at work
Signs of employee anxiety to look out for include:
🙅♀️Be conscious of your professional boundaries
❓Ask them what support they need
🚩 Point people towards anxiety resources
⏰ Offer more flexibility
💻 Communicate any changes to workload
🗓 Avoid mystery meetings
🗣 Arrange personal check-ins
🧠 Respect alone time
Tips for Assisting Employees with Depression and Anxiety Disorders
How To Manage Workplace Anxiety
What are some of the symptoms of workplace anxiety?
What causes workplace anxiety?
Giving Feedback to Employees with Anxiety: A How-To Guide
I'm feeling a lot like I did after the 2013 Boston Marathon. Everything hurts. I can't even process that horrific events have happened in places where I've been that were filled with joy. And I think about all the lives gone and forever changed.
I’m hoping everyone who’s struggling has a friend or loved one to lean on for support.
This is the second most meaningful Wordle board after getting DREAM in just one try on Day 4 of The Virginia Film Festival when I was thinking of my temp role at VAFF as the DREAM JOB! 😴 💼 🎥
RIGID is a word used to describe me by a therapist who now has a hearing scheduled in February 2023, two years and 5 months after I filed the complaint. All I wanted was a public record. I got it! ✔️🏅
I’m still trying to process what it means to finally get something I so desperately wanted: VALIDATION. Acknowledgement by an unbiased Board that what happened to me was either negligent or intentionally harmful (or “causing injury”).
It’s hard to believe that I finally received an email about the progress of my complaint after having the first phase of my exit interview with VAFF, when I connected these two events in my last post, I had no idea that this day would come while I was still working at the Festival.
Stay tuned for more about my desire for connections and finding meaning in my work - the writing, the therapy, and the job.
I’ve been thinking about my history with running and therapy a lot lately as I try to process the delay in a complaint I made against a therapist and formulate my goals for running in 2022 - ten years after my season of PRs (marathon 3:36:35, half marathon 1:40:05, ten miler 1:12:36).
Reviewing the therapy notes I went back to see if there were any clues about how my self-esteem and mental health was affected by running. I remember never being satistied with my running accomplishments and feeling like a fraud even as I became more serious about training and identified as a runner and that was demonstrated in the records.
The word “giddy” only showed up once in 1000+ sessions and it was in reference to the 2012 Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run. It was April Fool’s Day. When I saw a finish time of 1:12:36 I almost thought it was a prank. How did I run 10 miles at a pace of 7:15/mile?!? I remember pushing myself during the race so that I could have a time comparable to a local competitor, but I don’t remember feeling like I was going to die from pushing myself. I don’t recall pain or anything bad, I just remember my perservance and pushing forward with determination in every step.
I knew before I even started running the 2022 Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run that I’d have my slowest time ever, but I was so grateful to be there with my twin sister. We volunteered the day before at the kids race and had so much fun meeting people and giving back to the sport.
I don’t think i’ve laughed as much as I did when my twin and I started filming me dressed up in my Coney costume the day after the race. We saw a bunch of construction workers and cones near a crosswalk on the Mall and I wanted to get footage of me walking towards the Capitol. As I walked, one of the construction workers stopped me to ask, “Are you a candy corn or a traffic cone?” With pure glee and giddiness I answered, “I’m a traffic cone!” He and his buddies started to laugh and he said, “We’re going to need you to come over here. We’re short one cone.” I started to follow him and at that point the video ended because Malinda was laughing so hard.
My sister and I brought smiles to many people on our trip and that’s the greatest gift. As we walked towards the Smithsonian museums, a woman on a bike turned around to catch up to us and thank us. She recognized the Twins Run bag and thanked us for cheering in the T-Rex costume on the course. She said it was just wanted she needed to push through to the end of the race.
You know who else is giddy? The dude in this photo :)
“So, you are a sponsor of the race?”
To recognize the value of my in-kind design work as well as my contributions to digital marketing and social media, I asked to be included as a sponsor on the back of the 2022 Charlottesville Ten Miler shirt.
For 14 years, I helped the Charlottesville Track Club (CTC) with graphic and web design, marketing, and event management. For 13 years, I supported five race directors (Alice Wiggins, Mike Inge, Maria Bell, Deb Gilbert, and Nicole Brimer) with the Charlottesville Ten Miler (CTM). I’m grateful and honored to have worked closely with people who valued my ideas, creativity, dedication, passion, and time.
There aren’t enough words to describe how much it meant to me to see my “Twins Run in Our Family” logo on the backs of fellow runners as I ran this iconic race. I loved seeing the new CTC logo I designed (last year) at the top of the shirt, too!
I’ve been struggling emotionally and financially since I lost my job of 22+ years in September 2020. During the 50+ interviews I’ve had since turning 50, I've always spoken about my volunteer work in the Charlottesville running community as my proudest accomplishment.
During COVID-19 I devoted my time and talents to help Mark Lorenzoni promote the Charlottesville Track Club’s modified events during the pandemic and I especially enjoyed marketing and managing the C-VILLE-athon, Race Fest, Marathon and Half Marathon Training Program, Winter Training Program, the All-Comers Summer Track Meets, and Bruce Barnes Mile.
During this time a conflict arose between me and various CTC board members. Unfortunately, in spite of my best efforts, this conflict could not be resolved. Therefore, I made the extremely difficult decision to step away from the CTC in September 2021.
Although I had to separate myself from the CTC, I knew I wanted to help CTM race director, Nicole Brimer, with the 2022 Charlottesville Ten Miler. It was very important for me to end my tenure with the CTC on a high note. So, I made a variety of new designs for a special bib, stickers, and volunteer shirt as well other logos that I never got to use.
I wore my rainbow sparkle skirt and formerly white running shoes that I colored with a rainbow of sharpies. So many spectators and fellow runners complimented me on my tutu and I appreciated the encouragement as I was rather untrained for this endeavor!
The best part of the race was seeing my identical twin sister cheering in her inflatable T-Rex costume at mile 4 and the finish line. Being able to finally share this historic event with her made a difficult day of saying goodbye to this race a bit easier.
Thank you to Nicole for allowing me do what I love and including me as a valuable contributor to this spring tradition in Charlottesville.
I'm not sure who will be the next director for the Charlottesville Ten Miler and what changes will be made under new leadership. I know that my twin and I will always smile when we see someone wearing a shirt from one of the years I helped support the race, especially the shirts with my designs (2009, 2010, 2011, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020/21, and 2022).
music is my therapy
All the right songs came up at the right moment .....
1/2 of @TwinsRun