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Mental Health Matters: Balancing Work and Well-Being

5/1/2024 10:00:54 AM

In today's fast-paced world, the intersection of work and mental health has become a crucial topic of discussion. The demands of professional life often lead to stress, anxiety, and burnout, highlighting the importance of prioritizing mental well-being alongside career goals. 

Data from the Office on Women’s Health shows that over 20% of women in the United States have dealt with a mental health condition in the past year, including depression and anxiety. Data also shows that certain mental health conditions, such as depression and bipolar disorder, exhibit a higher prevalence among women or manifest differently in women compared to men. 

The 2024 Deloitte Women at Work Study dives deeper into this narrative, revealing insights into the female workforce's mental health landscape. While the study indicates a slight decrease in burnout rates among women, a staggering half of the survey participants admitted to experiencing heightened stress levels compared to the previous year. Furthermore, approximately one-third acknowledged taking time off work due to mental health concerns within the last year. Alarmingly, a significant portion of women expressed feeling inadequately supported in managing their mental health within their professional environments. 

The study also highlights a prevalent discomfort among women in openly discussing their mental health challenges or disclosing them as reasons for taking time off. A substantial 20% of respondents expressed fears of potential career setbacks or discrimination should they disclose mental health-related absences. These fears are not unfounded, as concerns regarding discrimination or retaliation in such scenarios continue to loom large for many working women. 

The repercussions of this dynamic are multifaceted, extending beyond individual well-being to impact organizational dynamics and productivity. Women who struggle to prioritize their mental health needs often find themselves grappling with diminished well-being, both mentally and physically. Notably, those who regularly work overtime reported significantly lower levels of mental and physical well-being, along with reduced loyalty, motivation, and productivity levels at work. 

Empowering women to establish healthy boundaries in the
 workplace can have positive effects on their well-being and professional success. Encouraging practices such as taking regular breaks, avoiding excessive overtime, and fostering open dialogues about mental health can catalyze a transformative shift. When women feel adequately supported in prioritizing their mental well-being, the ripple effects are profound—they become not only happier and healthier individuals but also more engaged and impactful contributors to their organizations, communities and families. 

Next time you start to feel overwhelmed or burnt out, try using some of these tips: 

Another resource for women in the Greater Cincinnati area is our women’s networking group, EmpowerHER. In honor of Mental Health Awareness Month, this month’s topic is “Increasing Self Confidence, Self Esteem and Self-Acceptance.” Our guest speaker is Dr. Laurie Little, Chief Patient Experience Officer and Psychologist at the Lindner Center of HOPE. Dr. Little will guide us through a transformative discussion and help you discover practical strategies and insights to boost your self-worth and empower yourself to succeed. If you’re interested, please RSVP here.