Addressing mental health in the workplace

Addressing mental health in the workplace

02 Feb 2024

Product Marketing Alliance Ltd t/a The Alliance

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This informal CPD article ‘Addressing mental health in the workplace’ was provided by Product Marketing Alliance, a company founded in 2019 with a mission of uniting product marketers across the globe.

Mental health is a buzzword. It pops up often, but unless you’ve personally dealt with it, you might not understand what handling it entails. And as business professionals continue to push themselves to excellence, the toll it can have on their mental health can be detrimental. More importantly, the toll can seem invisible if you don’t know the signs to address it.

In 2024, it’s time to destigmatize mental health in the business sphere. We want people to focus on their mental well-being, create a solid work-life balance, and progress in their careers without sacrificing themselves along the way.

But this raises the question, what does addressing mental health look like, and how can the workplace support those who need it?

What is mental health?

Mental health is the state of focusing on your mental wellness in order to address the challenges of life, deal with stress, embrace your abilities, sense of self, and community. It’s about creating a sense of peace emotionally and psychologically and is a fundamental human right.

Mental health is also deeply complex, and so many factors play into it. It would be impossible to address them all. But for the sake of this article, we’ll keep focus on the workplace and how that can affect someone’s well-being.

Mental health in the workplace

Working as a professional can be both liberating and daunting. You have many responsibilities, might even be in charge of other people, and have products that rely on your leadership for success. This can create intense pressure, and your mental health can significantly impact how you handle that pressure.

Often, this pressure can show up as anxiety, depression, or maybe even panic attacks. Some people might emotionally shut down, while others become reactive. Stress throws off people’s parasympathetic nervous system, tossing them into one of four states: fight, flight, fawn, or freeze. Some might even be a combination of the four. Remaining in these states for long periods of time can lead to physical systems as much as emotional turmoil.

So, what are workplaces doing to address these issues?

There has been a positive turn in this direction. Where once companies only offered medical benefits for an employee's physical health, now there are more options for mental health. This is largely due to the destigmatization of mental health in society. We are slowly turning away from hiding our distress. The shame is no longer so prevalent that we can’t ask for help and admit we’re suffering. It’s been a long journey to get here, and there is still so much further to go, but progress and conversations are happening.

Creating a supportive work environment

A supportive work environment

There are things you can do at work to help foster better well-being, starting with the company’s philosophy on mental health itself. A good company is one that focuses on mental health as much as physical and offers resources to those who need it. This demands the company be progressive in its mental health approach and be supportive of its employees. This can look like different things, whether offering counseling, paid time off, or general support for those struggling.

This means people need to be comfortable speaking about their mental health in the first place, so it’s a two-way street. When people feel safe to ask for help, it’s a huge sign the company is creating a supportive environment. Seeking help shouldn’t be seen as a sign of weakness, but rather resilience, and that you take your well-being seriously.

Companies should have a high interest in creating a supportive work environment. Not only does it lead to better lives for their employees, but workers' productivity is usually higher, their engagement more announced, and ideas flow when their heads aren’t so bogged down by stress. It’s a win-win.

Helping your colleagues

If you’re lucky enough to have a good handle on your mental health, it’s important to advocate for your colleagues who may not. Support is huge, especially for those who may not be sure who to speak to or where to ask for help. Your teammates should be your advocates, and there are a few things you can do to create a safe space, such as:

  • Provide a time for people to express their feelings
  • Don’t rush someone when they open up to you
  • Check-in with them routinely

If you’re not sure someone needs help, check for these signs someone might be suffering. These include:

  • Constantly being late for work
  • Chronic illnesses
  • Quality of work suffering
  • Interest in their hobbies diminishing
  • Changes in mood/behavior
  • Becoming withdrawn, tired, or anxious
  • Lack of appetite or overeating

If you notice someone suffering and don’t feel equipped to handle it, it’s best to speak to someone in the company who can. Don’t let your colleagues succumb to stress, even if the best you can do is point them in the right direction. Your workplace environment matters, so don’t be afraid to step up and offer support. You never know the impact you can have on someone else. Sometimes, all a person needs is for someone to ask how they’re doing. It can be as small as that.


To progress in your career, you need to take care of yourself. That means both physically and mentally. A good company will provide support for you along the way if they genuinely want to invest in their people and workplace environment. Its imperative people manage their stress; otherwise, the impacts on their livelihood, not just their professional life, could be huge. So, speak up if you’re struggling, or offer support to those who are. The benefits will always outweigh staying silent. Be kind and stay safe.

We hope this article was helpful. For more information from Product Marketing Alliance t/a The Alliance, please visit their CPD Member Directory page. Alternatively, please visit the CPD Industry Hubs for more CPD articles, courses and events relevant to your Continuing Professional Development requirements.

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Product Marketing Alliance Ltd t/a The Alliance

Product Marketing Alliance Ltd t/a The Alliance

For more information from Product Marketing Alliance Ltd t/a The Alliance, please visit their CPD Member Directory page. Alternatively please visit the CPD Industry Hubs for more CPD articles, courses and events relevant to your Continuing Professional Development requirements.

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