Oral Health Group

Prioritizing Mental Health Could Improve Your Dental Practice

October 17, 2022
by Kate Sheppard


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Were you aware that 75% of Canadians want their employers to address workplace mental health? There’s no doubt that the world’s views on mental illness have come a long way, but the general workforce still thinks that organizations have further to go. But it’s not just the will of the people that should make you want to re-think your well-being focus it’s the business benefits, too. If you’re thinking about creating a mental health strategy, here’s how it could help your dental practice.

How Can Mental Health Support Improve Your Practice?

A cohesive, employee-first strategy can transform businesses in a number of ways. Let’s dive into some of the most prominent.

Improve Productivity

Over 85% of employees who were treated for depression saw an improvement in their productivity in the workplace. Performance, attention, and drive all increase as mental health improves, creating a team that’s ready to work. 

On the other hand, if you don’t provide support for your employees and they continue to suffer from mental illness, you can expect their work quality and output to decrease. Some people, such as those with depression or anxiety, may also withdraw from the workplace environment. 

Reduce Sick Days and Staff Shortages

The average American takes seven sick days every year; 40% of these are related to mental health problems. Staff may take personal days when they’re not feeling up to working or, in more serious cases, could even check into a medical institution or one of the many rehab centers in Canada dedicated to treating mental health

By providing early support for your staff, you can drastically cut down on absences and prevent the downtime that this causes your business. Your processes will run smoother, and your patients will be happier with a service that’s (almost) never slowed down by sickness.

Attract Top Talent to Your Practice

The top dentists will have their pick of the pack when it comes to where they want to work. It’s a competitive world out there! If you want to have a chance of securing the best, your practice needs to look appealing to work in. One of the ways you can do this is by showing you care about your staff, offering fantastic mental health support that prioritizes their wellbeing

Create a Happier Workforce

When staff members are dealing with poor mental health, it can be hard to leave their issues outside the workplace. Someone with anxiety may struggle to talk to patients, while someone with a borderline personality disorder might find their drive varies from day to day. To create a happier workforce ready to engage with patients, you need to provide mental health support. 

Not only will support improve their state of mind, but they’ll feel happier knowing you’re looking out for them, too. When staff feel supported, they’re more likely to put in 100%.

Prioritizing Mental Health Reduces Costs

There’s no doubt that creating a full-proof mental health strategy for your team can create a better dental practice. Happier, productive, and supported staff makes all the difference when it comes to patient experience. But putting mental well-being first could also drastically reduce your costs.

In a UK study, they estimate around 70 million days are lost to sickness every year, with 40% being due to mental health. That equates to around £3.36 billion (or $3.75 billion) in business losses. Reduced productivity due to mental illness also creates losses of around £15.1 billion per year ($16.8 billion), and a further £2.4 billion ($2.67 billion) is lost in replacing employees who leave their place of work due to mental illness. 

In other words, mental health is expensive. If you don’t have a support strategy in place to help your team and prevent well-being problems, you could end up losing a hefty amount of money. 

How to Provide Mental Health Support in Your Dental Practice

There’s no clear argument against providing workplace mental health support, but there are plenty of reasons to start doing so. If you want to improve your processes, start by implementing staff training from a professional. This should teach your team how to spot the signs of common mental illnesses, as well as how to seek support for themselves and others.

You also need to have information readily available for anyone suffering. Pamphlets on different mental illnesses, as well as contact information for therapists and treatment centers, should be easily accessible. 

Promote open and honest communication around mental health, too. Let your staff know they can speak out when they’re struggling and that your door is always open. Celebrating events such as World Mental Health Day is another way to show support and encourage your staff to ask for help when they need it.

Final Words

We have so much information readily available about mental illness, and if your dental practice hasn’t already got a support system in place, now’s the time to change that. Support mental well-being and create a healthier, happier team that’s always ready to work.


About the Author

Kate Sheppard is a mum of two, who is passionate about sharing advice on topics related to healthcare and parenting.


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