The State of Mental Health at Work Needs Work

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Employees are people, which means the ups and downs of life follow us on and off the clock. Given that the vast majority of most of our waking hours is spent at work, though, it's inevitable that our jobs will dictate a large portion of how we feel day to day. Unfortunately, we need to take a long, hard look at how work is affecting our mental health, because the numbers right now are really not good.


The Harvard Business Review and Business Insider lay out a recent study on how mental health affects the workplace and vice versa. The top-line statistics are stark: For instance, 1 in 5 of us have left a job because of mental health reasons. That number goes up to 50 percent for millennials and a full 75 percent for Gen Z. Some of those issues are inherently age-related — many of us are still developing well into our 20s — but given nationwide increases in depression diagnoses, among others, it's worth taking notice.

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In an age when workplace burnout is literally a diagnosis, it's important to take every possible avenue for improving culture and support on the job. Some of it is small and personal, like saying "thank you" more or finding nice ways to cheer up your commute. Others involve developing healthy coping mechanisms, while still others rely on implementing good policy. No matter what, prioritizing good workplace conditions provides a clear benefit for everyone's bottom line. Whether your life on the clock is glorious or grinding, it's always good to set yourself up for success.