Lesson 4: Topic 5 of 14
Mental health screening is another tool you may wish to utilize. Whether they are self-assessment evaluations or screenings by qualified mental health professionals, these focus on mental disorders revolving around employment. Often this takes the form of a questionnaire centering on one’s emotions, lifestyle, and general wellbeing. If every employee at a company gets a standard mental health screening, or screenings are conducted randomly, accusations of discriminatory behavior against any one person or group of people can be avoided. Screening staff means some mental health problems may get picked up which otherwise would have flown under the radar.
Remember that many Americans struggle with various mental health challenges and continue to be excellent workers. “Mental health problems” can include social anxiety, ADHD, or PTSD. How can managers and supervisors identify someone who is outside of the norm and potentially violent? Behaviors are telegraphed not just by making overt or subtle threats. Other indicators may include, but are not limited to:
There currently exists no definitive study linking workplace violence with jobsite environmental factors ― however, it is well documented that constant negativity and stress can precipitate problematic behavior. Troubling social change at the jobsite is one factor: downsizing (or the identical euphemism “rightsizing”), a reduction in force (RIF), restructuring, outsourcing, or corporate mergers and takeovers. Another factor is having a toxic work climate; combine that with a sense of helplessness or despair that “things at work will never improve” and morale will definitely lower. Staff may harbor grievances against leadership for real or perceived slights. Any of these may act as a trigger to an employee who is already on the verge of snapping.