I choose to attend a deliberation on mental health in the workplace. I choose to attend this deliberation because our deliberation was on mental health on college campuses, and I was curious to see if any of their approaches would be similar to what we considered to be possible solutions to address the problem. Overall, I believe the deliberation went extremely well. The first approach that was mentioned was providing employees paid days off from work titled “health days” which an employ could utilize if they needed a break to asses, and work through a mental health situation. Some points many students brought up were that many small businesses could not afford to provide many paid days off to their employees. Additionally, many believed that there would need to be a system in place that ensured that not all employees took a “health day” on the exact same work day. The deliberation group also asked whether naming the days off would remove the stigma of taking days off for a mental health issue. I didn’t think that the name fought the stigma, as it blanketed mental health with a overbearing “health” title, hiding the issue all together. I think to break down the stigma around mental health, it is more important that we address the issue in a way that normalizes mental health issues, rather than making employees feel as though their issues are something to he hidden, and not shared with others.
The deliberation went on to discuss additional suggestions such as hiring an external mental health advocacy group to provide a business’ employees with support, and a way to discuss their struggles with anonymity. Many students agreed this would be a good idea, as long as the feedback was given to the employee’s company, so that changes in the business could be made.
I thought the deliberation brought up some really interesting points about mental health, and how it is addressed in the workplace. I think the group did a good job of introducing a topic that is not often brought up, and providing possible solutions that could benefit employees.