Why BRMs Should Advocate for Peer Support
Peer support systems are increasingly growing in popularity as tools to combat mental health issues in the workplace. According to the Center for Workplace Mental Health, depression costs US employers $210 billion per year; more than any other employee health condition.
Peer Support Systems
Accordingly, symptoms manifest themselves through low motivation, absenteeism, and In effect, with major depression affecting nearly seven percent of employees, respecting and supporting employees becomes even more important. Systems like peer support offer an affordable and effective option.
“Peer support specialists are certified individuals with lived experience having mental health conditions and/or substance use disorders who receive training to support others, inspire hope, offer tools, and connect people to relevant resources.”-Mental Health America
Numerous studies demonstrate that peer administered therapy is successful in treating depression. Markedly, peers help by empowering the employee, removing the stigma behind mental health, and teaching employees how to take care of their mental health. The ability to relate to someone with a shared situation helps to make the therapy feel approachable.
4 Benefits of Peer Support Systems
Safe Space – Employees interact with peers on the basis of no judgement. Thus, employees can feel safe in sharing their experiences. Sometimes, the best treatment simply allows the person to talk openly with someone who will listen without judging.
Relatability – Peers prove unique because they have personal experience coping with mental health illness. In this way, employees can relate to peers who have been in their position and who have come out stronger.
Beacons of Hope – 80 percent of employees treated for mental health problems report improvements in their job satisfaction and productivity. Peers serve as constant hopeful reminders, with a proven track record, that things will improve.
Cost Effective – Fiscally speaking, peer support systems are cost effective. A mentally healthy workforce exhibits lower total medical costs, lower absenteeism, and increased productivity. In effect, peer support systems represent an employee support program that returns a positive return on investment.
BRM as a Solution
Luckily, Business Relationship Management (BRM) falls at the intersection of many different organizational functions. As the champions and facilitators of relationships within the organization, Business Relationship Managers (BRMs) are perfectly poised to recognize mental health issues.
As a BRM with peer support training you can be an advocate and improve the lives of your coworkers. By advocating for a mentally healthy workforce, you can help your organization save money while also encouraging the most valuable part of any business: its people.
If you would like to learn more about starting your own Peer Support Network, click here.