Five reasons businesses should want to learn more about eating disorders
It would be a pretty naïve employer who didn’t understand in these times, that mental health is a big issue.
It would be an even more tunnel-visioned boss or commercial leader who doubted that the rate of mental health issues in the world would have a direct impact on his or her business and its productivity.
Millions are lost to business every year, through people being too sick to work – be that for a short stint, or a longer-term period of sustained recovery.
Eating disorders are indeed part of this spectrum of mental health scenarios, where at any one time, someone could be suffering to too greater an extent to capably manage the original demands of their work.
And yet, it’s not JUST the employee who might be contending with the fraught world of an eating disorder.
It could be that a member of staff has a relative or close friend who relies on them for support through an eating disorder.
Here are five clear reasons why it’s so important that businesses do put themselves out to learn more about eating disorders.
- A person in your workforce contending with an eating disorder is juggling a devastating disease which has the highest mortality risk of any mental health illness. They deserve support, - not least, because empathy is a part in helping them maintain a level of wellbeing and self-care.
- Your employee may well have a child or loved one who is battling an eating disorder. This will be taking up a huge amount of their emotional energy – as does any caring role. Understanding this might help you see how you could offer more support and practical help. Could you potentially allow that person more flexibility to work from home? Might you be able to allow that person to have their child visit your workplace for accompanied lunchtime sittings?
- Eating disorder research and care provision comes at a financial cost. Sure, some treatment is provided through statutory health in many countries – but increasingly, there’s a strain in this area and it’s more important for social enterprises (such as ours) and other community groups to fill in gaps and help ensure people are not forgotten. Could your company’s financial support or volunteering effort go some way to helping?
- Those suffering with an eating disorder today, are potentially seeing their potential in a future work environment put at disadvantage. We’re talking here about the young people who could well have the talent and interest in your professional sector to be a star employee of the future. And yet, today, they are battling with a mental health issue which is robbing them of their full potential. Your interest and understanding of young people and eating disorders will help less young people go through such a struggle. it may also help you be more mindful when you engage youngsters for internships and work opportunities.
- Putting your staff through an empathy course or workshop helps you evidence that you’re a company which cares – and does more than merely ‘talk about it’. It’s a known fact that employees of today look to work for businesses which have a caring ethos, get corporate social responsibility, and engage with their communities and regional causes. Show this by carrying out appropriate training opportunities.
We’d love to hear from any corporates who might wish to engage some of that valuable learning potential.
- Jun 2019