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Promoting Mental Health In Your Practice’s Work Environment

October 10th, 2017 - By Matt Garnese

This year’s theme for World Mental Health Day is mental health in the workplace. Good mental health in the workplace contributes to increased productivity, stronger coworker relationships, and helps save on costly employee healthcare.

According to a recent article from bustle.com, it was revealed that about one in four Americans cited their work environment as a source of anxiety and that worker depression resulted in higher employee medical costs than any other health condition.

Practical Ways To Increase Worker’s Mental Wellbeing

Often the demands of patient care create a unique set of issues for the medical practitioner. Here are a few ideas, as presented in an article by Forbes, which can help to promote good mental health at work.

  • Create a Healthy Environment: It’s important to consider the lifestyle being promoted among workers in the medical practice. Expecting employees to work long hours, or insisting people remain available outside their normal work schedule can bring undue stress. Be sure to respect your employees’ time outside the medical clinic, and allow for sufficient break time the typical workday.
  • Help Workers Identify Mental Health Risks: About a quarter of all adults experience a diagnosable mental issue per year. Often these illnesses go unrecognized and are considered normal consequences of simple work-related stress. Giving your employees the resources to assess their risk factors, such as by bringing a psychiatrist or other mental health expert into the office to conduct mental health screenings, is a great way to help.
  • Assist Employees in Addressing Mental Health Issues: Ignoring mental issues in the workplace only furthers stigmatization. Creating workplace policies that support workers with mental illnesses, such as through allowing them to take time off from their work schedule to attend therapy appointments, helps reduce stigma and improves workers’ mental health.

How Can EHR Software Help Improve the Mental Health of Your Patients?

Electronic Health Records (EHR) Software delivers a customizable workflow for any ambulatory medical practice, including psychiatric medicine. Psychiatry EHR software provides psychiatrists with templates, workflows, and content to evaluate disorders like stress, anxiety, and also provides materials for patient education about managing depression.

Organizational and Occupational Psychiatry, a subspecialty of psychiatric medicine, deals with mental health issues related to work, and the importance of medical health among workers.

In Occupational Medicine, the EHR helps increase the efficiency of employer-provided medical care and increases productivity in the workplace. Using an Occupational EHR, doctors can access patient visit documents, records of occupational illness, injury, or accidents and often federal and state-specific forms come integrated into the EHR. The result is a happier, healthier workforce, and lowered costs for the business.

Whatever your medical specialty, EHR software increases the efficiency of your organization’s workflow and reduces manual error, delivering improved patient care and outcomes.

Reducing The Stigma Of Mental Illness

The most important takeaway of World Mental Health Day is awareness. The only way to make progress in the fight is by reducing the culture of silence about mental illness. Hiding mental illnesses only make them more difficult to discuss. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), depression and anxiety disorders are some of the most common mental disorders, and they have an impact on our ability to work productively. Over 300 million people worldwide suffer from depression, the leading cause of employee disability.

In order to improve workers’ mental health, reduce absenteeism and disability, improve coworker relations and to increase productivity, promote a work environment where mental health issues can be dealt with openly and comfortably, without the need to hide them.

To learn more about World Mental Health Day, including publications, policy, public mental health, maternity and child mental health, as well as suicide prevention, visit the WHO webpage.


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