Mental health should be viewed in the same light as any other health issue. It often requires an appropriate intervention like taking some time off, seeing a specialist, or going on medication.
With any health issue, having the support of those around you is paramount to getting back on your feet. That is why empathy, rather than judgment, is the name of the game as a leader.
Judgment increases secrecy. And secrecy increases shame. And shame, when you battle with mental health, will compound the problem. Which is why, as a leader, I try to be open and available for people to break the silence surrounding mental health.
One of my key roles is to help my team navigate roadblocks and enable them to do their work excellently. When it comes to traversing health roadblocks, it’s about showing kindness, raising flags, sharing my own experiences, and truly supporting the road back to health.