Mental Health In The Workplace

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An Introduction to Mental Health in the Workplace

Increasingly, good mental health in the workplace is an issue being raised. Job stresses are being recognized as affecting work performance and also an individual’s over-all well-being. There is a lot of information available about how to promote good mental health in the workplace but perhaps insufficient initiatives actually being used. Providing employees with information promoting good mental health alerts them to the problems but may not achieve the solutions. Within the larger society good physical health is overwhelmingly accepted as the first step to good mental health. Can mental health issues in the workplace be addressed in the same way, by

first promoting improved physical well-being?

Nutrition and Diet

The benefits of good nutrition are important for everyone at home and at work. Good health begins with a good breakfast. People who have a morning meal are more likely to take in more vitamins and minerals, and much less fat and cholesterol. (WebMD, 2008) The effect is often a leaner body and less chance of overeating and going to the vending machine during work hours. Researchers at the 2003 American Heart Association conference reported that breakfast eaters have a lower chance of being obese and getting diabetes. Another study in the International Journal of Food Science and Nutrition concluded that people that eat breakfast cereal daily feel better both physically and mentally compared to the people who almost never ate cereal for breakfast. A Web MD article explains “To get the full benefits of breakfast, the Mayo Clinic recommends a meal with carbohydrates, protein, and a small amount of fat. They say that because no single food gives you all of the nutrients you need, eating a variety of foods is essential to good health.” Even if an employee does not have time to eat before work, because they are rushing to be on time or their morning consists of dealing with children, bringing a breakfast that they can eat as soon as they get to work would be a healthy habit to get into. Multi- tasking is possible when eating cereal, fruit and nuts at the same time as checking voicemail or emails. Good nutrition needs to continue throughout the day. Fruits and vegetables, healthy snacks, drinking water or tea to stay hydrated, and eating dairy products all add to well-balanced meals. For example, eating healthy dinners with fish two times a week can vastly improve a person’s well-being because fish has omega 3 fatty acids.

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