The word ‘workplace’ is associated with stress for many people. And since there are various forms of mental health problems and stress is not just one of them, it is important to keep mental health issues in check in the workplace, which includes identifying any disturbances of behavior within yourself, your colleagues, your employees, or anyone around you at the workplace.
The modern times have brought solutions to the most common problems in the most unthinkable methods, including technology that can think! This technology that we call Artificial Intelligence refers to a kind of programming of technology that allows the machines to think i.e. understand, analyze, and make decisions, based on what information has been fed to it in order to manipulate its responses.
How to Identify Mental Health Issues in the Workplace?
Work environments are usually fast-paced. Most managers or supervisors care less about their team’s health or performance in life and more about their work performance, which leads to an outright neglection of the personal growth of the employees.
However, there are a number of factors that can help you, being a supervisor or a colleague, to identify mental health issues in those who work around you, or even in yourself – because the first step towards helping the management of an issue is to identify it.
1- Panic Attacks:
The most obvious sign that someone is suffering mentally is to check their physical condition. A panic attack is usually a physical indication of a psychological issue that may be underlying or identified, but how do you know if someone is having a panic attack? Apparent symptoms of a panic attack may sometimes resemble the symptoms of a heart attack – an abnormally high pulse rate or irregular palpitations in the heart, pain in the chest, heavy or shallow breathing, or having tremors with sweating. While these symptoms may vary from person to person, these usually indicate that the person needs immediate help.
2- Loss of Focus or Memory:
One of the most common signs of someone suffering from any mental stress, disorder, or trauma, is the loss of focus or memory. Since the work environment usually does require a lot of memorization of important information along with the ability to focus, it is easily observable when someone is struggling with being attentive, or with remembering details.
3- Emotional Outbursts:
If a colleague has suddenly become very sensitive or emotional and starts tearing up at almost anything, they are likely suffering mentally. It is important to treat anyone reacting this way very politely and kindly, as even one word or a harsh tone can trigger a negative reaction in their brain. These outbursts may be in form of any abnormal reaction including crying, aggression, or even risk-taking behavior.
How Can Technology Resolve Mental Health Issues in the Workplace?
3- Smart Lighting:
Employees’ motivation levels are impacted by working conditions. Lighting may not sound like a huge technological change, but there are forms of smart lighting technologies that adjust the lighting of the offices as per the requirement of the environment. This allows the employees to focus their sight easily on work without stressing as they struggle to focus in bad lighting.
2- Mobile Apps:
If you have not explored your app store yet, you should now – it has apps for literally everything! Trying to manage work-life and mental health or overall well-being is tough, especially when most people are very self-involved to care about you. However, you can help yourself by installing apps that motivate you, help you meditate, calm you down, and even assist you to find a professional to talk to. One thing a company can do easily do for its employees is to encourage the use of such apps for everyone.
3- Using Wearable Sensors:
Wearable technologies like ‘Spire’ have sensors that collect data about your breathing and other reactions, and analyzes them for any indications of stress. If it senses stress, it automatically sends you notifications on your phone to help you calm down by different proposed solutions that come with the notifications, like breathing exercises. Another such technology is based on Artificial Intelligence and was only recently launched by the name of ‘BioBase’. It is an app that pairs with a wearable device, and it helps track all your activities, including sleep, and reports your performance regularly to you with suggestions of what needs attention.
While mental health is a medical and scientific field that still needs more in-depth studies, the work done up till now on psychological issues proves that as people are becoming more digitally social and physically anti-social, technology is a friend to them. Using this technology, it is possible to detect and analyze mental health problems in the workplace, but treating any mental health problems is still considered a human job, and must be taken care of by a professional. However, by optimizing the environment of the workplace and the behaviors of the management, any worsening of the conditions of the sufferers can be reduced.