Wow – it’s hard to believe the pandemic has been here for a little over a year and all the changes that have resulted since it began. Who knew that pandemic would be an everyday word? Who would have ever heard of working full time from home? Who would have thought we’d still be wearing masks? All of these changes impacted all of us, but how we all handled them is different.
There is no question that the pandemic increased stress levels for many. In our most recent mental health seminar, conducted by 13 Factors, Canadian Research has shown, that in 2020, the impact of the pandemic on employees has:
- Reduced effectiveness of communications
- Negative impact to self-concepts, self-esteem
- Belonging, social cohesion
- Managing change effectively
- 2x mental health and stress levels
- Anxiety, depression, contemplation of death by suicide
- Addiction disorders
It’s not always easy to talk about mental health, but it has to be talked about.
Many employers have Employee Assistance Programs. Make sure that information is distributed to employees, regardless of when they previously received it. As I am writing this as of April 2021, we are currently in a state where things are changing every day, people are handling things differently now, than they did in the beginning. Some people are just now dealing with what some of us dealt with in the early stages of the pandemic. We are all different, and we all need to respect the fact that mental health issues arise at various times, for various people.
If you are unable to provide an Employee Assistance Program, you can still provide references for your employees. The Canadian Mental Health Association (www.cmha.ca) has a number of resources available, including a list of local Mental Health Association’s in your area. The Government of Canada also has additional resources available through the Mental Health Commission of Canada (www.mentalhealthcommission.ca).
And finally, if you see someone struggling or acting out of character, take a minute to ask how they are doing? It’s a simple question. Until we get back to a new normal, stay safe!