Posted by: Elanco Mental Health First Aiders
May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and especially after the events of the past 24-plus months, it’s crucial that we equip ourselves with strategies and tools to take care of our mental health. Over half of adults with a mental illness do not receive treatment, totaling over 27 million adults in the U.S. who are going untreated, according to Mental Health America. So, this month, we’ll shed light on how important our mental health is – and how you can help yourself and others.
Elanco has embraced the idea of supporting our employees in times of mental health crises and other wellbeing issues. At the end of 2021, a group of volunteers completed training in the Mental Health First Aid program. Our focus is to be a source of support and resources for colleagues who are struggling with mental health concerns.
We spend one-third of our adult lives at work, and the extra stressors and challenges that often come with a job can negatively impact mental health. Left unchecked, they can even lead to feelings of depression and anxiety.
Recognizing when a colleague or employee is struggling can be vital to making sure they get the support they need in a timely manner. It’s also great for productivity — employees who feel respected and supported are more likely to thrive in their roles.
Use these tips from the Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) curriculum to recognize if your colleague is struggling:
Notice changes in behavior.
Behaviors like irritability, fatigue and absenteeism can be signs that a colleague is facing a challenge. Changes in behavior might indicate that they are going through a tough time or that they may be experiencing a mental health or substance use challenge.
Have a conversation.
If you notice that your coworker’s behavior has changed, you can start the conversation with phrases like “How are you feeling?” “Are you doing OK?” “Can we talk about what’s going on?” and “How are things going today?” These questions open the door for you to support your colleague in the best way possible and offer resources when appropriate.
When communicating with a colleague, it’s important to be an active listener and acknowledge the information they share with you.
Elanco Mental Health First Aiders