The mental health of employees is more critical than ever for companies today. Digital innovations can be the solution, especially in the corona pandemic and the shortage of specialists.
E-Mental Health In Practice: The past few months have shown impressively how negatively the social isolation caused by the pandemic impacts people’s psyches. According to a study, perceived loneliness has increased significantly due to the lockdown. Anyone who is already suffering from a mental illness is considered particularly at risk during these times. If social contacts such as those with work colleagues or customers are lost, this represents an additional burden on mental health. And the medical care of patients with mental illnesses has also deteriorated immensely. For example, numerous appointments had to be postponed or canceled due to the high risk of infection.
Prevent Burnout: This Is What Companies Can Do
It is all the more important that employers keep a close eye on the mental state of their employees and prevent mental illnesses. After all, employee satisfaction and motivation are essential for desirable work performance. Regular surveys offer the ideal opportunity to obtain direct feedback and assess the company’s general mood.
A survey conducted in 2018 indicates emotional stress and time pressure in the professional context as the tremendous stress, followed by too much overtime and a bad working atmosphere. According to this, every second person believes that burnout affects them. Six out of ten people even complain about symptoms typical of burnout syndrome. To prevent employees from burning out and to protect their mental health, companies should, among other things, pay attention to a healthy work-life balance. Flexible working time models, options for remote work, free sports offers for physical compensation, or other benefits have proven to be modern and practical measures for this. But these are not always enough.
E-Mental Health On The Rise?
Once mental disorders are present, they often lead to significant impairments on an individual and societal level. Professional performance is also severely restricted. Going to the therapist is always advisable at this point. But this step represents a considerable hurdle for many of those affected because there is an acute lack of therapy options in cities. The gap between the number of inhabitants and available psychotherapists is enormous, as the following analysis of a standard search platform for medical professionals shows.
E-mental health offers an excellent opportunity to make up for this deficiency. These are online-based treatment providers that can be used via computer, tablet, or smartphone and can thus counteract the current supply bottlenecks. What exactly is behind the term is revealed by a current definition by Nobis et al.
“E-mental health involves using digital technology and new media to provide screening, health promotion, prevention, treatment or relapse prevention. Measures to improve care (e.g., electronic patient files), professional training (e.g., using e-learning), and online research in the field of mental health is also part of e-mental health.”
E-Mental Health offers the possibility to carry out treatments digitally, which could previously only be offered personally on site. In addition to counteracting the shortage of therapists in cities, gaps in care in rural areas could also be closed.
Using Modern Media For Medicine: E-Mental Health
The need for digital support for mental problems is therefore enormous. The number of Google searches related to mental health is increasing every year. With higher demand, the offer in e-mental health is also growing. The modern media provide additional possibilities. In addition to online therapies and advice and freely accessible information material on the Internet, there are now around 20,000 apps that deal with the topic of mental health. These can be essential support before, during, and after psychotherapy. For example, if companies provide free access to self-care apps, they can preventively counteract mental health problems among their employees. Mental health is becoming increasingly important in our society.
Digital Psychiatrists And Coaches For The Mental Health Of Employees
Especially in everyday work, people are regularly faced with new challenges that often have to be mastered under significant time pressure. A lack of community spirit in the team or too little praise and recognition from management also hurt mental health. But internal causes such as too little self-confidence, non-acceptance of one’s weaknesses, or excessive self-demanding can form the basis for developing a burnout syndrome or other mental disorders.
Therefore, enabling individual digital coaching or therapeutic advice is another way of using e-mental health in a professional context. With its help, workshops on conflict resolution, time management, and stress management in the workplace can be offered. For example, employees learn how to use various techniques to achieve their goals and company more efficiently and not panic even when faced with more considerable or unknown challenges. Building and strengthening your stress resilience are probably the most critical steps to prevent an impending burnout syndrome. In this way, the general atmosphere in the workplace can be improved, and the physical and mental condition, as well as the motivation and productivity of the employees, can be increased.
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