Let’s talk about mental health?

How much time of your day do you dedicate to moments that provide you with well-being? How much time do you spend playing sports, watching a movie, listening to “that” music, going for a walk, or sitting next to your loved ones and talking? Do you feel comfortable approaching your supervisor about situations that generate anxiety in your workplace? Have you had the opportunity to speak with your team and see if they are satisfied with the work environment or if they want to make any suggestions for improvement?


Currently, we live too attached to the excuse that “we don’t have time”, and, when we realize it, another day, another week, another month, and another year have passed. Our life seems to focus on actions that allow us to “have more” and, therefore, we work more, compete for more, aim for more, earn more, buy more… And when this self-demand assumes a proportion in which “having more” can mean losing? Wasting time with our family and friends, losing leisure time, losing sleep, losing the quality of life, losing motivation and performance in the workplace?

It is essential to have the ability to adjust to our reality and our demands, finding a balance that promotes our personal and professional growth and, consequently, our mental health. And it’s mental health that this article is about.


Saúde mental

Mental health as an organizational mission


The World Health Organization defines mental health as a state of well-being that enables an individual to realize his or her own potential, enabling him or her to cope with the normal pressures of life, to be able to work productively and fruitfully and contribute to your community.

Did you know that 1 in 5 Portuguese suffers from a mental disorder and that Portugal is the second country in Europe with the highest prevalence of psychiatric diseases?

The issue of mental health is not recent, and this concern is practical. However, the truth is that the pandemic worked as an accelerator – talking only about physical well-being as a synonym for “being healthy” is too reductive. There is an increasing awareness that without mental health, there is no health. In this follow-up, the impact that COVID-19 had on the psychological well-being of people/workers promoted greater awareness of this topic in managers and leaders.

In many organizations, mental health at work remains a taboo subject, which means that many employees do not talk about their problems because they fear being harmed or being given labels. In this sequence, the managers must assume a facilitating role, creating and promoting moments for employees to speak, without fear, about labour matters that may generate discomfort and harm their mental health.

It seems important to emphasize that in companies where there are constant conflicts or people do not feel heard or valued, there is a greater risk of mental disorders such as burnout (a state of physical and mental exhaustion caused by the exercise of professional activity), anxiety or depression. In this follow-up, we highlight that, according to the report of the Ordem dos Psicólogos Portugueses, it is estimated that in Portugal, due to the lack of psychological health, workers register absenteeism of 6.2 days per year and presenteeism – the act of physically attending the workplace, despite not meeting the health conditions necessary for the expected performance of the work activity – it will be 12.4 days.


Factors that promote mental health


  • Team managers/leaders with knowledge about this subject so that they can more quickly, for example, talk to team members, recognize in others (and in themselves) factors that may be triggering some stress and intervene early;
  • Promote education for mental health among employees through awareness-raising actions;
  • Recognize risk factors in the organization and apply measures to reduce the incidence of these risks;
  • Implement effective communication and active listening to improve well-being and working conditions;
  • Development of a culture/work environment that promotes the health and well-being of workers.
  • Promote balance between work and personal life;
  • Recognize and value the performance of employees (for example, with a simple compliment and/or awarding of prizes);
  • Ensure the articulation between the well-being of the employee and the performance of the functions;
  • Providing counselling services;
  • Conduct coaching sessions;
  • Develop teambuilding activities that favour the sharing of emotions and feelings, which can generate stress in the workplace, and foster the union of work groups that can;

Mental and emotional well-being influences how we perceive ourselves, how we communicate, how we relate to others, and how we experience and experience day-to-day events, which will directly impact how we work, our motivation and, consequently, the results and productivity.

In this sense, experts argue that organizations that promote cooperation, communication, and active listening, concerned with the well-being of their employees, are organizations that foster a good working environment, which will inevitably favour good mental health.


Remember: a person with good mental health can recognize their role within an organization, contributing to the company’s mission and presenting high levels of productivity, energy and motivation. We are all responsible for everyone’s mental health.
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