The coronavirus has taken its toll on the collective mental health of the pharmaceutical and biotech workforce. Clinical research associates and other professionals are likely feeling anxious and isolated. Companies, however, are doing what they can to provide their teams with the mental health support they need to cope with these uncertain times.
Even in 2020, many people in the country find it difficult to access mental health services. Companies are making it easier for their team members to receive counseling by offering free in-house counseling services. For example, Starbucks gives employees 20 free therapy sessions. Companies in biotech and pharmaceuticals are enacting similar policies. Employees need a safe space to talk about their concerns and fears.
Put Someone in Charge of Mental Wellbeing
With an unusually high number of people dealing with mental health problems because of the pandemic, it is a smart idea to hire a health professional to be in charge of mental wellbeing for the company. A specialist will be able to come up with wellness programs that address the real problems facing employees right now. Having a mental wellbeing specialist on board will also ensure everyone on staff knows who to turn to if they need assistance with mental health related issues.
Use Online Tools as Resources
There are a lot of mobile apps out there that can help with stress reduction. Online tools are useful because employees can access them anywhere at any time. Some employees will also feel more comfortable using mobile tools than talking to a counselor face-to-face. Consider providing your team with free access to a mindfulness app, such as Headspace or Calm. These apps can help train employees in meditation techniques while helping them to become more present and aware. Mindfulness is a practice that can reduce anxiety and depressions and allow your team to be more focused.
Possibly the best thing companies can do right now to promote mental health during the pandemic is to encourage their team to communicate openly. There remains a lot of stigma surrounding mental illness, so employees may be hesitant to open up about their concerns. Leaders within the company should actively talk about their own anxieties. This will let employees know the company has an empathetic view of mental health, and employees will feel more comfortable talking about their own concerns.
Mental health in the workplace has always been an important topic but COVID-19 has done a lot to shine a light on just how important mental wellness really is. If companies want their teams to perform their best and to be healthy and happy, they should provide them with the support they need to cope with stress and uncertainty.
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