Mental health is something everyone has, but it differs for everyone what they experience. Good mental health is feeling good, being healthy, and being able to function every day. While some people may experience challenges to their mental health from stress or things that happen in daily life, executives often feel pressure, stress, and strain from their jobs that push their mental health to the brink. CEOs often get treated like they are superhuman, capable of withstanding anything thrown at them. Truth is, they desperately need support because they are vulnerable to feeling pain like anyone else, but may hide it from coworkers and family to cope with it alone.
Leaders and Mental Health
Leaders, executives, pastors, and others can struggle with mental illness in the shadows. Mental health conditions among entrepreneurs are also reported to be higher. The stress impacts mind and body function. It may motivate for a while, but the body cannot sustain long periods of stress without it taking a toll. Stress may harm mental and physical health, emotions, and other issues. Sometimes, when leaders wrestle with work challenges, life stress, and other issues, they turn to drugs or alcohol to cope. Executives may be likely to avoid treatment by hiding behind success and pushing loved ones away. Substance abuse can start as a form of self-medication but creates more problems than it solves, eventually. Co-occurring disorders, where mental health and substance abuse coincide, can push people into the red zone of danger and make them prone to psychological distress.
Handling Mental Health
A facet of life as an executive is to try and cope with mental health and substance abuse by denying it happens. When work is the central focus of a person’s life, it is easy to measure stability and self-worth by professional success. Conflict and shortcomings in one’s personal life may be explained away and professional standing will be seen as proof there is nothing wrong. For most executives and professionals, job performance is the last place mental health and addiction will take hold. Staying afloat professionally is tricky. Self-medication can only cover up things for so long before substance use pairs with mental illness and everyone begins to suffer. Some strategies that can help executives handle mental health in the workplace may include:
- Creating a culture of workplace health
- Improve leadership training
- Support work/life balance
- Build community partnerships
- Relieve stigma around mental health issues and seeking help
- Offer leave to deal with mental health and addiction issues in a way that supports overall health
Employers must be diligent about supporting executives who struggle with mental health and addiction issues. They should be able to take leave when needed to get away to focus on their well-being. Treatment for addiction can be healing for those who struggle, and necessary, to bring hope in the darkness.
The Last Resort provides a space to settle in and find healing. Our goal is to let your body and mind detox so you can focus on building better strategies to take care of your mental health and substance abuse challenges. We are here to help you find hope in recovery. Call us to find out more: 512-750-6750.