Stigma in the workplace?

This is a great example of trying to open the conversation about mental health in your workplace.  Unless you work by yourself, the odds are pretty good that someone at your place of work is dealing with a mental health issue.  What choice do you make?  Start the conversation or brush it under the carpet?  How about encouraging your workplace to host a Mental Health First Aid workshop?

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I was thinking about mental illness and stigma as I read this article.  Why do we take coworker’s physical illness in stride but avoid discussions of mental illness?  Is it because we can’t see the ailment?  Somehow the lack of a physical nature makes the topic taboo?  Or is that so much of what we do at work these days requires our brains to be operating at full capacity and that if we operate at anything less we’re letting down the team?  Think of it as a canoe voyage, something that requires great physical output from each team member.  If one team member was to suffer a physical ailment that prevented them from paddling, I can imagine the other team members starting to calculate the dead weight of the ill person.  “Toss him, we’re faster without him”.  With so many businesses requiring amazing brains pulling together, perhaps the avoidance is not much different than the canoe analogy?  What do you think – am I out to lunch?

Click the image below for the full Wall Street Journal article.

 

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