Many companies invest significant time and money in their employee’s morale and productivity. And of course should; human resources are the most important asset a company has, and often the most direct influencer on bottom-line profits. Common examples of these investments include team building, skills training, improved cafeteria offerings, health and wellness programs, and more.
All of these initiatives are both important and valuable. However, even the most employee-centric company procrastinates on facing a growing challenge: workplace mental illness, and the stigma that continues to surround it.
Many employers recognize the reality that mental illness impacts 1 in 4 people, which means it is the most prevalent health challenge facing their workforce. Some employers are trying to address this challenge with awareness campaigns, which is a fantastic first step.
54.6% of employees with depression would not disclose their illness to their manager.
Very few, however, are being proactive in addressing the root of this challenge – which isn’t the mental illnesses, but the stigma that handcuffs everyone involved. For example, if an employee or manager were to be diagnosed with cancer, they would have no fear of judgement or reprisal in disclosing their illness and following a course of treatment. The same cannot be said if the illness were depression or anxiety; employees suffering with those illnesses often feel pressured to hide their symptoms, delay treatment and soldier on.
Why is this the case?
For the vast majority, the topics of mental health, mental illness and stigma are still very uncomfortable. They don’t have the same tools, language or experience to know how to respond, whether it impact themselves or their colleagues. This creates enormous problems for workforce, and has a tangible impact on productivity.
The most significant consequence of stigma is the silencing power which in turn causes presenteeism, and greatly exaggerates the impact of the illness.
As a Stigma Expert & Founder of stigmaZERO, I co-authored a published white paper A stigmaZERO WORKPLACE PAYS IN PROFITS – How breaking down mental illness stigma can improve your bottom line, in which we share the results of exhaustive research into this topic. In addition to the significant cost of a mental disability claim, we found consistent examples of successful ROI of 300% and 400%. (To view the executive summary version of our whitepaper, click here.)
Workplace mental illness and stigma pose a challenge to every employer, one they must face eventually.
I founded stigmaZERO to help employers address the complex and challenging reality of mental illness stigma. I offer clients impactful and eye-opening keynote lectures as well as our innovative stigmaZERO Workplace Program.
The stigmaZERO Workpace Program has a top-down methodology which has been carefully designed to ensure maximum impact. In order for workshops with employees to be effective, they must know their managers and senior leadership are already committed to a stigmaZERO workplace.
If you would like to learn more about how our unique services can create real, lasting impact on your company’s ability to manage mental illness and stigma, contact me for a free consultation at firstname.lastname@example.org and visit my website at www.stigmazero.com.
Founder & Stigma Expert
Our vision is to work towards a future without stigma, and our mission is to help employers eliminate stigma in the workplace. We deliver on this mission by offering an accessible, proven program that combines personal experience with actionable guidelines to enable a positive culture change around mental illness.
stigmaZERO was founded in 2014 by Jason Finucan, who has positively impacted thousands of individuals and helped companies by sharing his expertise on mental illness and stigma.
As an active member of CAPS (Canadian Association of Professional Speakers) and GFS (Global Federation of Speakers), Jason is an experienced and dynamic speaker with the ability to profoundly impact audiences.