Can organizations be of assistance with the mental health of their staff? NO!

Many years ago, while I was caring  for my  wife who was dying from cancer, I was prone to try absolutely everything that “worked”. Almost every quack exploited our weakness.

We visited alternative medicine clinics, visited specialists who “rewire mental energy,” and frequented near-magicians. After a  few months ,she died anyway. I look back at the days I dragged her around to various quacks and still feel guilty. She was tired and worn down- and we were being fucked over by a ruthless gang of healers who did nothing. But worse than doing nothing, they preyed on our frailty. Much like organizations which “care about” the mental health of their employees.

I believe that organizations create a lot of mental health issues. They set impossible goals, pit people against each other, measure your performance against ambiguous/fake yard sticks, rank and rate you, and force feed slogans the goal of which are to get more for less. Management is very often toxic. Change after change creates tons of anxiety. On top of it, people are asked to be authentic, and punished  when they are. So they have no right to then help you with the very stress they have created. That help is very suspect. It is preying.

It is my deep belief that organizations should stay away from helping employees deal with mental health issues. They are suspect; they often exacerbate mental disorders and in some case cause mental disorders. They should provide no in house  counselling whatsoever. Wolves should not be allowed in the chicken coop, even if it is guard duty.

I also believe that discretion promised to troubled employees is often violated.

People with mental health and their support group should manage mental health issues outside of the work place if at all possible. Allowing organizations to meddle in employees mental health is akin to falling victim to quackery, or extreme naivete.

Wolf, stay away with your stretch goals, authenticity, play room, coaching-for-stress and toxic management.





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6 thoughts on “Can organizations be of assistance with the mental health of their staff? NO!

  1. While I totally agree with the picture you paint, Allon, I believe strongly that it is in the best interest of a company to treat its employees very well. That includes things like: generosity, flexibility, kindness, empathy, and well-being.

  2. I completely agree that companies shouldn’t try to handle that internally at all. Huge ethics issue there. But as Terrence pointed out, taking care of the employees as the key asset they are is important.

    Many companies here (Norway) offer subscriptions to allow their employees rapid access to private mental healthcare when needed. The care is offsite, confidential, and no information flows back to the company aside from sessions billed. It allows them to keep their employees healthy and well, as the public system often has a substantial waiting period to get treatment.

    Personally, I’m EMDR certified and find it a great tool to help managers and other employees deal with stress and trauma quickly and effectively.

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