Coronavirus pandemic is increasing stress and mental health problems in the workplace

Mental health is affecting work performance, making it an employer’s problem, too

Mental health is affecting people’s work performance

The global COVID-19 pandemic has stress levels running high these days and now it’s impacting people’s mental health.

As a result, it’s interfering with their work and ultimately making it an employer’s problem, too.

While talking more openly and providing employee resources about mental health can help de-stigmatized issues, it’s still a tough conversation to have with your boss.

But don’t worry, you’re not in this alone.

First, consider going to HR. If you are suffering from depression and anxiety, go to your Human Resources department to learn about possible accommodations. Many companies have increased their mental health benefits since the pandemic started, like adding free meditation apps and providing additional paid time off.

Next, limit what you say. Be careful what you disclose to your manager, since once you put something out there, you can’t take it back. Even if you have a good relationship with your boss, you don’t need to provide a lot of personal information when asking for mental health days. You can say something like: “I’m feeling a bit burned out, I met the deadline but really struggled with it. Can I take a few days off to recharge?”

Third, stay solution-focused. Bringing solutions to the conversation makes it more productive. For instance, if the mornings are overwhelming you as you’re trying to get your kids onto their online classes, then suggest starting your workday later.

Fourth, be proactive.I f you know your work is suffering, chances are your boss has picked up on it too. Try bringing it up before it becomes a major problem.

Finally, be candid, but careful. Talking about mental health is important, but be selective with who you share with in the office. Disclosing your struggles to a colleague could come back to bite you in the future. Instead, try confiding in a trusted friend outside of the workplace.

About the Authors:

Gaby has been a news producer since 2019. She graduated from the University of North Texas with a Media Arts degree and previously worked at KIII-TV in Corpus Christi.

Stephanie Serna is a weekday anchor on Good Morning San Antonio and GMSA at 9 a.m. She joined the KSAT 12 News team in November 2009 as a general assignments reporter.