In May of 2021, Naomi Osaka withdrew from the French Open tennis tournament out of concern for her mental health. She drew praise and criticism. However, other athletes, including Michael Phelps, Serena Williams, and Usain Bolt gave their support. Then, Simone Biles chose to sit out a few events at the Olympics in Tokyo, which started the conversation again. Mental health is important in every field, and there are ways to support it.
Check on Leaders
These superstar athletes have shown that mental health exists at all levels of the industry. Those in leadership are under more pressure, and they can feel isolated and scrutinized. You need to look at more than their performance and ask them how they are. Have chains with them before meetings, and be aware of warning signs. It is important to find them the help they need before they feel too much pressure. Make sure that everyone is comfortable to share how they are without worrying about how they will be judged.
Historically, the culture in business and sports has been strength and power. Not showing a sign of weakness is the old way. Today, it is best to encourage people to share. Help them if they make a mistake, and be open to conversations. Make sure that everyone is comfortable sharing how they feel. They can laugh or cry, and leaders should set a good example. Let people learn how to embrace their own vulnerabilities by feeling safe.
Monitor Mental Recovery
People have been monitoring their physical health for years, and they take the time they need to heal and recover. It is important to do the same for mental health and its recovery. If people need time for mental health recovery, make sure that they get it. They may need to relax and get more sleep while they engage in stress-reducing activities. People need to sleep and determine how best to recover from the cumulative impact of actions that lead to mental health issues. There are mental rehabilitation practices that will improve recovery.