Mental Health: How to Start the Conversation with Someone at WorkMay 1, 2023
Feeling down, stressed out, or anxious can be common, especially in our fast-paced society. It’s normal to feel this way occasionally, but if you’re feeling this way regularly, it may be time to take steps to improve your mental health. If you are experiencing mental difficulties, it’s important to reach out for help.
But where do you start?
What is the first step you can take if you’re struggling at work?
Reaching out to someone you trust is the first step in helping you feel better and get through whatever is troubling you, despite how frightening it may initially appear.
It can be difficult to talk openly with someone about your life. If they don’t understand, you could feel like you’re burdening them. However, it’s critical to keep in mind that those who care about you want to help. If they are unaware of what is happening, they won’t know what is going on. Start by talking to a friend, a member of your family, your therapist, your supervisor, or anybody else you feel at ease with.
Volunteer Crisis Support Counselors are also available 24/7 by texting HOME to 741741.
How do you start the conversation about your mental health with this person?
You might wonder if it is appropriate to discuss your mental health with your manager or team members. You are the only person who can make this decision. Having this conversation might help improve your work-life balance and help you establish healthy boundaries that protect your well-being and enhance how you combine your work and personal life.
It also may introduce you and your group to other mental health awareness initiatives, such as listening to a podcast on the topic, as well as resources to assist your mental health, like meditation.
Suggestions to help guide your conversation with your manager or supervisor:
- Write down what you want to say and practice it beforehand to ensure that your conversation is clear and succinct.
- Talk to your employer and the HR department, as well as anyone else who needs to know.
- Bring any acceptable modifications or recommendations for how you feel your manager and team can best help support you.
- Talk about unimportant events in your personal life and overshare your experiences.
- Make negative comments about your work and appear uncommitted to your position.
- Think that your manager will simply be critical of your predicament.
Where can employees of Ethos Veterinary Health find resources?
Ethos offers support, guidance, and resources for employees and their families through its Employee Assistance Program (EAP) through The Standard. EAP personal assistance is immediate, confidential, and available when you need it.
EAP services can help with:
- Depression, grief, loss, and emotional well-being
- Family, marital, and other relationship issues
- Life improvement and goal setting
- Addictions such as alcohol and drug abuse
- Stress or anxiety with work or family
- Financial and legal concerns
- Identity theft and fraud resolution
- Online will preparation and other legal documents
Employees can reach out to The Standard 24/7 by calling 888-293-6948 or online.
My hospital has an in-house Veterinary Social Worker available, how can they help clients & team members?
When necessary, Veterinary Social Workers can serve as a liaison between animal owners and the medical staff.
Support they can provide to clients:
- Assist in ensuring that the owner feels heard and that they comprehend the advice given by the medical staff
- Offer owners support as they struggle with tough choices,
- Concerning money
- Quality of life
- Humane euthanasia
- A dedicated person to guide an owner through the decisions when the care team might need to focus on other patients
Support they can provide to team members:
- Providing a safe and confidential place for team members for one-on-one meetings.
- Offering debriefing after difficult situations.
- Providing crisis support and recommending referrals for ongoing counseling.
- Providing in-house workshops on a range so subjects, including communication, well-being, compassion fatigue, setting healthy boundaries, etc.
- Advocating for reasonable restrictions and standards for team members.
- Resolving conflict between team members.
- Give advice in unclear circumstances such as reporting animal mistreatment or ethical issues.
For the clients and team members at our two Veterinary Special Hospital locations, VSH- Sorrento Valley and VSH- North County, I am available for you!