Mental health is an understated concern in many occupations, particularly in high-risk and demanding work environments like offshore rigs. Addressing physical injury and illness should always take priority, but that doesn’t mean employers can afford to ignore the psychological well-being of their staff. In fact, all offshore site operators should provide their employees with access to care and professional resources to maintain their overall mental health.
The Real Implications of Mental Health
When many people think of poor mental health, they often picture someone acting in a deranged or nonsensical manner before being forcefully relegated to a care facility. While some neurological disorders do cause pronounced and dramatic symptoms, the overwhelming majority of emotional, behavioral and cognitive issues aren’t as obvious or immediately disruptive. However, all unaddressed mental health issues have severe and potentially life-changing consequences for the victim, as well as their friends, family and colleagues.
Impact on Workers
One of the biggest obstacles when dealing with mental health is that diagnosis and treatment often depend on the patient’s ability and willingness to seek help. If they don’t know or believe anything is wrong with their behavior, then they are unlikely to seek therapy or other professional intervention.
In demanding, high-pressure work environments like offshore rigs, workers are at increased risks of suffering from stress and depression. These conditions can impact every other area of their life, including relationships with other people, personal motivation and overall physical health.
Significance for Employers
The mental and emotional health of employees has a direct impact on every aspect of a company’s operations. Employees who are stressed, tired or emotionally unstable are more likely to make mistakes that can waste time or even put other team members in jeopardy. Employers that don’t provide adequate resources to promote and foster positive mental health also face higher attrition rates among experienced workers, which can create a huge drain on intellectual resources and tear at the social fabric of the entire organization.
Challenges Specific to the Energy Industry
Mental health is a concern in every industry and occupation, but there are a few factors that offshore site operators should consider when designing a wellness program. Offshore rigs are often distant and isolated, creating a physical and psychological barrier between workers and their social support network. These environments can also be hazardous and physically demanding, with pressure to work long hours with little time for rest and relaxation.
Addressing Mental Health in Offshore Sites
Employers aren’t necessarily equipped to deal with all the mental health concerns of their workers. However, there are at least a few basic strategies that operators should consider to help their workforce stay healthy and productive. This includes creating a formal, comprehensive plan for maintaining the emotional and psychological health of workers with access to mental health resources and professional care.
Company policies should reflect the priority on mental health by educating employees about these issues and encouraging them to seek help when needed. Managers and supervisors also need to know how to recognize the warning signs of high stress, depression or other common mental health concerns that could impact the project or other team members.
Building a Culture that Recognizes Whole Health
As a provider of specialized safety and health solutions for offshore and remote locations, Pharma-Safe Industrial Services recognizes the significance of mental health when it comes to successful site operation. We encourage our clients to consider the industry-specific pressures and factors that can impact their workers, so they can implement programs that properly address these crucial issues.
To learn more about the added value that third-party medical professionals can provide for your business contact us today.