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New Challenges Arising In Mental Health That Board Directors Must Pay Attention To

New mental health challenges are impacting our organizations now daily – And it is not easing up any time soon. Mental health since COVID has been deteriorating by 25% from Pre-COVID statistics. I was on a call yesterday with a former CEO of a major securities firm, and he simply said, everyone I know is depressed or have children feeling sad.

When you dig harder into the research as I have pointed out in prior blogs, we have 20-30 % of people worldwide waking up and starting their day – either sad or angry.

So, what are our board directors or C-levels doing to increase more focus on health and wellness of the organizations they are governing.

Dr. Robbie Babins, CEO of a Calgary Counselling Center has stated: I believe the pandemic is transformational in terms of the more open conversations we are having and the ways in which our communities and workplaces are approaching mental health and taking it action to make it better.

This being said, are we doing enough?

I don’t think so.

National Data released by Statistics Canada in August of this year, showed that the increase of depression disorders was two times higher than Pre-COVID, and that the percentage of adults with self reported depression has also doubled.

Wow and the USA is not fairing better either.

I think we can assume there are far greater numbers that what these numbers are revealing, as many employees are not comfortable reporting or seeking support which is an entirely other issue of educational awareness.

With the real estate shifts to more hybrid work, many companies are wrestling with inconsistent policies or outdated leadership behaviours that think if I can see them I know they are working for me. This is a going out of business mindset.

With the challenges in recruiting talent and keeping talent, here are some questions that board directors can ask of their CEOs or board committees:

1.) Does your board have a clearly defined strategy supporting health and wellness with clearly defined measurement systems?

2.) Does your board meeting always have a health and wellness report and how is your company compared to other organizations in your industry or competitive landscape?

3.) What innovative mental health and wellness tools are you purchasing to help communicate daily to your talent how much you care.

Conclusion:

Bringing mental health out of the shadows and into mainstream management with effective and frequent leadership communication is a step in the right direction. What we do know is the solution is not an HR employee satisfaction survey – today real time communication is needed – nothing less will suffice.

So far the statistics are continuing to show more risks and more sadness and unhappiness in 2024, so every board director and C level has to reflect on how you are going to show more love to your employees, as the Great Resignation Tidal wave that is hitting our corporation doorsteps is persisting.

Love to hear your thoughts – so reach out on my Linked in Channel if you have a story about a best practice – I am working on a new book on Happiness Counts and its Big Business, so primary research is important.