Mental health self-care is becoming part of everyone’s life in an effort to manage the number of psychological stressors faced every day. For those in the labor force, these stressors multiply quickly — from personal problems to work-related issues. If you are feeling a little stressed and overwhelmed at work, it may be time to consider taking a day off for your mental and emotional health. It is becoming an acceptable, if not encouraged, reason for a day off to recharge.

For some, this may be still an uncomfortable topic. However, it is important to bring it to light. Mental illness and emotional issues touch everyone on some level and it reaches into the workplace too often. In June alone, there were a number of workplace violence incidents, some with catastrophic results.

• June 14 (San Francisco, California): A UPS driver shot and killed three co-workers. Seven other people were injured as a result of the shooting.

• June 20 (Carmel Mountain Ranch, California): A worker at a biotech company shot a co-worker in the head.

• June 30 (Bronx, New York): A gunman kills one person and injured six others.

The workplace used to be a safe space, particularly from violent incidents like shootings. Now, however, these types of occurrences happened more often. According to FBI data, it is a growing trend.

Employees expect to feel safe at work, and they should be, right? Do you feel safe at work? Despite of the growing number of reports of violence in the workplace, survey data show that the majority of U.S. workers (78 percent) feel safe at work, according to Sterling Talent Solutions — Background Screening & Politics. However, another national survey conducted on behalf of CareerBuilder by Harris Poll indicates that many U.S. workers do not know what to do in case of workplace violence incidents or emergencies and many of their employers are not prepared either.

• According to the Harris Poll, 41 percent of U.S. workers do not believe their company has an emergency plan in place in case of a physical attack from a person — an active shooter for example — and 31 percent do not feel their workplace is well-protected from these physical threats.

• Seventeen percent do not feel their workplaces are well-protected in case of a fire, flood or other disasters and 22 percent don’t believe their companies have emergency plans in place should such events occur.

• Thirty-one percent do not feel their workplaces are well-protected from a digital hacking threat and 39 percent do not feel their companies have an emergency plan in place in the event of a technology security breach.

Research data and the number of news reports on workplace violence make a strong case to support giving yourself and your employees an occasional day off for mental and emotional self-care. On top of the job responsibilities workers must do, they face a number of psychological stressors and safety concerns each workday.

Jose M Granados is a business analyst at TBC Media. He can be reached at jgranados@bakersfield.com.

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