At nonprofits, long hours and scarce resources are considered typical, but the high-pressure environment and deeply important work can trigger or exacerbate mental health conditions like anxiety and depression. This article is the first of a two-part series examining mental health challenges in the workplace, and how leaders can address them effectively and empathetically.

As the leader of a nonprofit, the mental health of your employees is an important concern. Anyone in your position understands that a stressful, resource-constrained work environment can test employee health and wellness. The unique nature of nonprofit work makes understanding this issue all the more important. Here are five things that you might not know about how mental health appears at work and how greater awareness can help your organization:

  1. Mental health conditions are incredibly common.
  2. Your best employees may have a mental health condition.
  3. Most people hide their conditions at work.
  4. Because of the stigma, most workers don't get treatment.
  5. Addressing mental health at work results in major cost savings.

Nonprofit leaders can support mental health by making sincere efforts to reduce the stigma. For example, leaders and managers can share their own experiences, or those of close family members or friends, to create transparency and acceptance. This can make it easier for employees to ask for help if they need it, taking some of the fear out of disclosure. In addition, organizations can train managers to recognize the signs of mental health conditions and support struggling employees

Read the full article about understanding mental health by Kelly Greenwood at The Bridgespan Group.