Cracking the code of workplace mental health: Shattering myths, embracing solutions

Cracking the code of workplace mental health: Shattering myths, embracing solutions

From not even acknowledging the presence of something called Mental Health to addressing it in the context of workplaces, our society has come a long way. There seems to be hesitation and a delay in response within organisations and employees but it is a great start. 

The next step is to debunk any misconceptions or misunderstandings surrounding the topic of Mental Health in the Workplace. 

This article focuses on debunking some of the most common myths:

Only people who are ‘mentally weak’ go through mental health issues.

It is 100% untrue. Mental Health issues can affect anyone from a 2-year-old child to a 98-year-old grandmother. People who grow up in an environment where there is a lot of love, care, and positivity can also go through mental health issues. Mental Health issues can be encountered by a celebrity who has millions of fans and also by someone who is struggling to make ends meet. Mental strength or resilience can only determine how you bounce back and what attitude you showcase in the face of adversity. But,  it does not prevent you from facing any challenge. An antidote to mental health challenges is an action. After you notice and recognize an issue you are dealing with, if it is met with a solution-oriented action, it makes sure to help you heal. 

Stress is always temporary and we don’t need to give it so much attention. 

Your body and mind are constantly sending you signals. If you keep distracting these signals, they can become more severe and can cause you deeper damage. Stress can indeed be situational and temporary sometimes. But it is equally important to rise above the stress by practising activities that allow you to get rid of it. If not, it can keep on accumulating inside your body and mind and can start affecting your life. 

There are a bunch of self-care practices that you can implement to manage stress. Deep breathing, engaging in an activity you like such as gardening, cooking, reading, spending time with loved ones, working out, and journaling are all healthy ways of coping with stress. 

Stress management will look different for everyone. Make sure to choose an activity that makes you feel relaxed instead of following any particular rule or guidebook. 

Self-care is selfish.

It’s something that most people believe to be true. But the fact is that it is not. If you had a fractured leg and you had to attend a family event, would you feel selfish while saying no? Most probably not right?! Because saying no would allow you to rest at home and recover faster. In the same manner, doing things that help you regain energy and make you feel good about yourself is not selfish at all. Practicing self-care means honoring your own needs. When you respect your body and mind, it gives back that respect to you in innumerable ways. 

Self-care is an antidote to burnout and everyone must practice at least one act of self-care for themselves. Looking after yourself is only going to ensure that you are capable of looking after others as well. After all, you cannot pour from an empty cup. 

Out of sight is out of mind.

Another popular myth believed that if you ignore something it will go away. When it comes to mental health, it's more often just the opposite. The more you neglect, distract, or ignore your emotions, the more they will take over you in the future. 

Imagine you have throbbing knee pain and are delaying your doctor's visit. At some point the knee pain will explode, making it inevitable for you to visit the doctor. That is why prevention and precaution will always ensure to keep you on the right track by providing you additional support. Therefore if you notice yourself feeling stressed, anxious, or emotionally exhausted for a long period, make the call and seek professional help.  


  1. How to ensure that I choose the right therapist?

A. When you are looking for a therapist, there are 3 things you need to focus on: 

1. If they make you feel comfortable, safe, and heard when you talk to them and share your personal stories. 2. Whether you feel validated and supported in a session.  

  1. How do I take care of my emotional well-being at work?

A. Check in with your emotional needs and make decisions accordingly. Set healthy boundaries that allow you to practice a work-life balance and healthy relationships at work. Make use of any Employee Assistance Services provided to learn about better coping strategies to maintain emotional wellbeing.

  1. How to approach a colleague who does not respect boundaries at work?

A. It is always best to communicate your boundaries of what is accepted and what is not. When you communicate boundaries openly, it ensures transparency in communications. If a colleague is failing to respect the boundaries, you can have a conversation to understand why it is happening. After reflecting on that, you can choose to have a solution-oriented conversation where everyone’s needs are met and everyone feels heard.