True health = positive + negative
I’m arguing for organisations to take a more integrative approach. Psychological support and removal of stigma for those who are suffering – absolutely. As well as promotion of proactive, cognitively healthy habits which can help any of us in our day to day lives – available (or even mandatory) for all employees. The topic list is broad: understanding emotions, strengths, positive relationships, what it means to be engaged at work… all have the potential to prevent problems before they happen.
Resilience, for example, is not just something we need when things go really badly. We have daily frustrations and annoyances which impact our minds and ability to perform, and which we could better manage; if only we knew how. Research on proactive resilience training in schools, for example, has shown significant effects on participants’ mental flourishing later in their lives.
More research needs to be done within organisations – and my experience as a practitioner is only anecdotal at this stage. But I would bet all I have that a focus on topics such as resilience would ultimately reduce the suffering of many individuals, and the costs to the companies they work for. It is however, important to note that I am not saying it will eradicate mental illness.