A Mission to Make Mental Health a Priority

You may hear a lot about mental health now-a-days. It may seem cliché or commonplace, but it is something that is really important for all of us to understand well. Mental health is the ability for a person to balance the everyday stresses, life events and activities without impact to their functioning. However, with the stresses brought on by the pandemic and risk of burnout, it’s important to know when “mental health” becomes a “mental disorder,” negatively impacting your brain and your wellbeing more generally.

For me, it’s also a personal topic. In a previous role, I had a team member who became seriously ill. The cause of her health problem was stress. As her manager, I knew she had great potential in her career, she had performed well time and time again, but she needed help as the root cause of the stress lay beyond work-related questions. I wanted to help her, so I did some research on my own, reached out to mental health experts, and spoke with her openly and safely, so I could best support her. Thankfully, by understanding how to support her, my colleague recovered and regained her confidence in her contributions both at work and at home.

One of the major lessons I learned was how successful the outcome can be if signs and symptoms are identified early and properly supported. This is especially true for stress.

That’s why I’m pleased that with the support of the executive team, we are helping employees learn about the causes of stress, the initial signs of concern and how we can individually become more resilient. Having already seen 200 leaders go through the program, we want all leadership teams to have the chance to join a newly created Resilience Building Workshop.

This is just the start. We want to create long-lasting stress-reducing habits among our employees so they can feel confident in their mental health.

At Jabil, employees are what make us successful, which is why we prioritize our People and Communities as a sustainability pillar. Helping us better face the stress we all inevitably have in our lives will make us more resilient and capable of maintaining high levels of performance both at work and in our personal lives.

That lesson I learned early on with my team member is one of the reasons I’m so passionate and persistent in making mental wellbeing a top priority. Being able to recognize the first potential signs of stress in colleagues, friends and family will help create the opportunity for that person to get early help and support before the condition worsens. Together, we can make a safe and inclusive space for all.

Michael Cooke
Article Contributed By:
Michael Cooke
Vice President, Social and Environmental Responsibility