According to the World Health Organization (WHO) study on mental health, an estimated 264 million people suffer from depression globally, which is one of the leading causes of disability. When you add the fact that many of these people also have symptoms of anxiety, this is costing the global economy $1 trillion dollars a year in lost productivity.
A negative work environment can lead to physical and mental health issues, which have been highlighted in the media.
What are some of the work-related risks to mental health?
- Poor communication and management practices
- Limited involvement in decision making or control over one’s area of work
- Low levels of support for employees
- Inflexible working hours
- Unclear tasks or work objectives
Let’s connect the principles of Lean Six Sigma:
- Focus on the customer (or employee)
- Understand how work gets done (the process or value stream)
- Manage and improve process flow
- Eliminate waste and non-value steps
- Encourage collaboration and equip people in the process
- Manage improvement activity in a congenial, systematic way
How can these principles help? A support system at work is like a strong family, and a strong family feels safe and happier in the situation. Mental health is a complicated topic, and scientists are still figuring out all its complexities. One thing is for sure: having a strong, patient support system can move mountains until more scientific information comes in regarding mental health.
There are great organizations out there that are working diligently as a support system as well as a great resource for information. One such organization is the National Alliance on Mental Illness, NAMI.org.
As our global economy gets busier and foreign cultures start teaming up, understanding how the brain works with regards to mental health might be the one factor that unites us all. Until then, maybe we can rely on Six Sigma methodologies in the workplace and organizations such as NAMI to help work out the kinks.
For more information on our Lean Six Sigma courses and services, please visit 6sigma.com.