Introducing “Mental Health at Work,” a Special Section On Mental Health in the Workplace

It’s time to end this silent epidemic.

Arianna Huffington | Founder & CEO, Thrive Global

This article was originally published on Mind Share Partners' "Mental Health at Work" section on Thrive Global.

Thrive Global’s mission is to end the global epidemic of stress and burnout. This means that much of our focus is on the workplace. And you can’t really talk seriously about well-being in the workplace without talking about mental health. It’s both a driver of stress and burnout and a symptom. And though more and more employers are taking well-being more seriously, mental health continues to be a silent epidemic. According to the Global Burden of Disease Study published each year by the Lancet, mental health disorders – when including neurological issues and substance abuse — are the number one cause of disability worldwide, and responsible for ten percent of lost years of human health.

This is why I’m delighted to announce Thrive Global’s partnership with Mind Share Partners, whose mission is to transform the workplace so that those suffering from mental health conditions can be heard, get treatment and thrive. Together we’ll be publishing a special section called Mental Health at Work, which will include personal stories, the latest science, global trends in mental health, what the most innovative workplaces are doing around mental health, and how you can contribute to ending the stigma of mental health in your own workplace.

We know that the same factors that fuel stress and burnout also play a role in mental health. For example, though chronic sleep problems can be found in 10 to 18 percent of the overall U.S. population, they’re found in 50 to 80 percent of those seeking help for mental health issues. And burnout? Those who overwork are twice as likely to suffer from an episode of major depression. Likewise with technology – it’s not only fueling stress and burnout, but addiction to mobile devices has been linked to anxiety and depression. And the stigma against speaking out continues to be costly. According to a Deloitte UK study, an astounding 95 percent of those who had missed work because of stress cited a different reason for the time off.

So clearly the issues of stress, burnout and mental health need to be addressed in a comprehensive way, which is exactly what we aim to do with Mental Health at Work. “Organizations increasingly support the physical health of their employees with healthy snacks, subsidized gym memberships, even walking meetings,” writes founder and CEO of Mind Share Partners Kelly Greenwood. “However, few do the same for mental health, and may not even realize the consequences of ignoring what it means to have a truly healthy employee.”

It’s time to change that by creating truly human workplaces where everybody can thrive. And to explore both the challenges and solutions to doing just that, we have consultant John Hamilton on why peer-to-peer support is so critical for those with mental illness, Mind Share Founder & CEO Kelly Greenwood on why change has to start at the top of the org chart, Chief People Officer at SurveyMonkey Becky Cantieri on 3 highly effective ways<