Think about how many times a day the question “how are you?” comes up. Now think about how many times a day you answer honestly. These two numbers likely don’t match up, especially if the question arises at work from your coworkers or supervisors. “A new report found that about 84% of employees report that they rarely mean it every time they say they’re “fine” or “good.” (Fortune, 2021) It is estimated that 1 in 5 Canadians live with mental illness or addiction issues. (CAMH, 2021) So, on any given day, at least a handful of people at your work (and maybe even you) may not actually feel “fine” or “good.”
Our Psychotherapist Sophia, has some insight into why employees might be hiding how they really are. She notes that workers can understandably be afraid of the employers they work for because the employers may not offer mental health support or, in some cases, basic empathy. Some employers look at their employees as dollar signs rather than fellow humans who need appropriate work-life balance and support. She also suggests that employees may be fearful of establishing and maintaining boundaries with employers because some employers won’t respect those boundaries. Boundaries in the workplace is a whole topic by itself, but a very relevant and important one.
From what Sophia has seen in practice, some people end up in psychotherapy at the point of burnout from working at their job, not when they begin to notice something isn’t feeling right (although some clients have the self-awareness to take preventative measures). It shouldn’t get to this point because ideally, employers should be mindful of employee wellbeing, but that coupled with the stigma of mental health and workers having a mentality of “I’ll just keep pushing” leads to issues.
Sophia has implemented ‘self-care’ breaks into her day to help with work-life balance, which allows for her to take a step back from her work and take care of herself. Even if just for a few minutes, it allows her to be better equipped for her role and be more present for her patients while taking care of her own mental health.
If you have any questions for Sophia or would like to discuss ways to make your mental health a priority at work, you can set up a consultation or book an appointment by calling 289-201-5130 or booking online!