As many of my readers know I read a lot of articles from all over the world. I am U.S. based and we are WAY behind the rest of the world in terms of mental health awareness. A horrible place to be for a society that encourages gun ownership…. I mean you would think we would be investing heavily into mental health services and studies where everyone is armed to the hilt. I even own fire arms, but I digress…
Perhaps this is the best avenue to take to induce more change in mental health. When businesses are affected a broader swath of the public at large takes note.
From the article: “Greater awareness, and implementation of policies relating to the issue will help. Further, as awareness grows, and as employees become more comfortable discussing mental health issues, employers will likely start to provide more support for employees. The lack of early identification and support (whether or not the employer’s responsibility) is often the issue. The silence and stigma are without doubt a contributing factor.”
The article elaborates a great deal on Prince Williams work on the issue, he has taken a leading role in the discussion and that has created a higher profile to the issue. The article is without question a European/UK piece and I’m not saying that smugly but there are concepts and undertones within the text that simply don’t translate well to a U.S. or Asian culture. Simply put, European governments have put a much greater emphasis on work place corporate accountability.
There are far more “pro” worker laws there, and this is largely without unions (all though they do exist) I think the article does a decent job of illuminating the issues, from a work place perspective. I am not sure it can translate completely abroad. In the U.S. for example, most employment is “at will” you really don’t have many rights as a worker. On the positive side you are also not beholden to an employer either. Ideally, we meet in the middle somewhere. I know if I was working for an employer who created the conditions by which I could have better outcomes with mental health I would be far more loyal to that company and much more productive.
What I would like to see in the U.S. (can’t speak for our Asian friends on this one) is governments incentives companies to offer more services and benefits. I believe companies would do this in earnest if there were more reward to doing it. We can’t simply dismiss out of hand a companies need for profits, its how we have accumulated so much wealth in the west. That said a touch more balance toward more worker benefits would be a pleasant change. Certainly, our friends in the UK seem to be attempting to have the discussion, seems like a great place to start