Mental Health Coverage and Your Next Job

Sometimes, to better serve our mental health, a change of scenery is in order — particularly when it comes to work. Unfortunately, finding a job with excellent mental health benefits can feel like searching for a needle in an overworked, underappreciated haystack. With so many archaic work practices still in place all over the U.S., it’s no wonder that some people turn to other options, such as moving states or even finding jobs abroad in order to find a healthy work environment.

If your current work situation is mentally, emotionally, and/or physically draining, now is the time to make some changes that will ultimately benefit you and your mental health needs.

Workplace Anxiety

In the workplace, anxiety can interfere with your ability to meet deadlines and connect with coworkers, and it can generally interrupt your day-to-day work responsibilities. As some experts explain, “While all of us naturally experience some level of anxiety throughout our lives, those who have an anxiety disorder experience the symptoms of anxiety to the extent that they may no longer be able to function in normal life circumstances.” These symptoms can include:

  • Constant feelings of nervousness
  • Powerlessness
  • A sense of imminent danger
  • Increased heart and respiration rate
  • Sweating or tremors
  • Fatigue
  • Difficulty concentrating

Moreover, this kind of anxiety can be difficult to manage if your current job has little to no mental health benefits. This is, of course, problematic for a number of reasons, as those at Fiscal Tiger explain, “Anxiety disorders should not be ignored, as that can often make the irrational thoughts more severe, which can, in turn, devolve into a full panic attack. Additionally, trying to force yourself to not be anxious can backfire. Invalidating your condition, ignoring it, or fighting it (without the guided help of a professional) can all lead to more severe mental and physical symptoms.”

Dealing with anxiety is not only exhausting but also detrimental. It’s also easy to fall into a toxic cycle at work if you feel scared of sharing your mental health problems with your employer. With all of that in mind, while it’s easier said than done, quitting your current job that completely disregards your mental health is imperative. It isn’t worth trying to reconcile your anxiety disorder (and other equally difficult mental health problems) with your less-than-sympathetic employer.

Brighter Horizons

Of course, it goes without saying that job hunting is stressful and might seem counterproductive to your mental health; however, the goal is to settle in a better, healthier work environment. Understandably, you might also be hesitant to explain why you quit your last job, as it is such a personal issue.

Honesty is going to be the best policy. Being open about why you left your previous job will actually help you find a better job opportunity. Online CV further explains how to approach this concern in your interview, “Talk about it as a learning experience … State what it taught you and what you realised from the change. This is a lighter and a more positive note to end on, which helps recruiters to see how you take change, development and progress.” Any company that has great mental health benefits will understand your reasoning for leaving and vice versa.

Change of Scenery

The city or even state you currently live in might be a huge factor in your unsuccessful hunt for a company that prioritizes employees’ welfare over productivity. As Bradley University points out, there are a lot of underserved populations in the U.S., especially when it comes to mental health. It might sound outrageous, perhaps even impossible at first, but moving away from your current town will likely remove those work barriers you keep running into.

Making the decision to move out of your current place will require quite a bit of research, planning, and energy, especially if you’re considering working abroad. Luckily, as more and more companies realize the value of mental health benefits, you might find that your golden opportunity is easier to find than you think. It’s also important, if you feel comfortable enough, to speak out on this growing problem. If enough people let their voices be heard, we can help future generations get the kind of mental health care they deserve.

Making yourself a priority can seem overwhelming — perhaps even intimidating. Many of us enter the workforce not realizing our worth. The U.S., in particular, is notorious for driving an intense “work, work, work” mindset into employees — without much in return. However, when you finally realize your value not just as an employee but as a person, you can start making the important moves to find a new job that will treat you and your mental health better than you could imagine.


Photo by Ben White on Unsplash