If you're feeling stressed or anxious heading back into the workplace during the pandemic, you're not alone.


What You Need To Know

  • Employers are starting to have their workers return to the workplace
  • The Erie County Anti-Stigma Coalition held a Facebook live to discuss dealing with mental health concerns for people heading back to the office
  • Communication is one of the biggest things to keep in mind

‚Äč

Gulsum Silluzio, the director of operations for Horizon Health Services, said, "We think that there's something wrong with us. We think that we're crazy for some reason because we're experiencing these kinds of symptoms and that's absolutely not true."

Change can ignite anxiety and stress, and that's what plenty have been feeling throughout the pandemic. Now that employers are starting to have their workers come back into the office, that too can cause some mental health concerns. 

Lisa Coppola, the founder of the Coppola Firm said, "How do they keep up with the changing laws and guidance and how do they keep both their team and customers or clients safe, that's a primary concern of our employer clients. We also represent employees as well as employers and we're hearing almost the same sort of narrative across the board from everyone."

The Erie County Anti-Stigma Coalition held a Facebook live Wednesday to discuss dealing with the stresses of going back to work during this pandemic. One of the big things is communicating your concerns and how you feel.

"A family member or loved one, first talk about what's going on, just kind of work through your own stuff and then maybe that will help you feel a little more comfortable to then take the next step, which is talking to your employer," Silluzio said.

It's also recommended you know your rights as an employee.

Eric Galdys, who is a human resources business partner at Employer Services Corporation, said, "There are potential leaves that they may be available for through the FMLA Act and that disability where they can have job protection if they have a previous diagnosis of a mental illness condition."

As for employers, the coalition recommends they truly listen to their employees' concerns and make it clear that everyone's health is paramount.

"Try your best to be transparent about what you're doing to keep your team safe and to keep all the folks who visit or who come to your workplace safe and if you can, try to be transparent about their job security," Coppola said.

Karl Shallowhorn, the chair of the coalition, says taking care of your mental health right now is vital especially with so much going on.

"If you take care of yourself, self-care tools that we know of, exercise and meditation and all those things that can go with it, you can weather these storms a lot better," he said.