Editor's Note: Discussion needed
It’s encouraging to see that the topic of mental health has emerged from the shadows and become more widely talked about. Even some celebrities and star athletes have come forward to admit that they – with their seemingly perfect lives – contend with anxiety, depression and other mental health issues.
This month in Safety+Health, writer Susan Vargas explores how the increasing openness about mental health has extended to the workplace – and what role occupational safety and health professionals may play in helping workers cope.
In June, as a springboard to Susan’s article, S+H’s informal online “What’s Your Opinion?” poll asked, “Should mental health in the workplace be part of the safety pro’s responsibility?” Interestingly, the results have stayed pretty much a 50-50 split between “Yes” and “No.” Some commenters zeroed in on the word “responsibility” and cited their own lack of expertise and training on mental health. Others view playing a role in mental health as a natural extension of the safety pro’s job.
Typically, we change poll questions every four weeks or so, but we kept this poll featured on our homepage much longer because the comments keep coming. As one commenter wrote, “Rarely have I seen such a lively discussion on such an important topic.” It’s a discussion that needs to continue in the safety community.
By the time you read this, a new poll question will be featured on the S+H homepage. But you can still weigh in on our mental health poll – and add your comments – by visiting safetyandhealthmagazine.com/topics/711-what-s-your-opinion. I hope you will.