Mental health in the workplace is at least as important as physical health. In fact, it may be more important because when leaders maintain their mental health, they can be more effective at helping others at work do so as well.

A bad work environment can have a detrimental effect on the mental health of employees. Managers who hold their employees to impossible standards and who do not reward them for hard work can end up with a staff that is not just demoralized but struggling with depression and anxiety. 

Managers who take care of their own mental health have space for empathy toward their team. They are able to notice, interpret, and respond to nonverbal cues from their employees and support them with any issues they are having. A manager with good mental health is, in short, someone who shows up not just physically but mentally and emotionally at work. 

Ultimately, people who are struggling with their mental health may need to seek professional help. However, there are steps leaders can take to manage their own mental health before it reaches a crisis point. 

It may be inappropriate for a manager to turn to subordinates if they are feeling stressed, but they can create a sense of teamwork and talk to a colleague about problems they are having. People who isolate themselves at work instead of reaching out may struggle more. 

Some leaders may feel as though there are too few hours in the workday to take out time for themselves, particularly if they work in a fast-paced and competitive environment. However, exercise can be critical to maintaining mental health. Barring this, getting out of the office, or even just away from the desk for a few minutes can be beneficial. One way people get both mental space and some exercise is by incorporating walking or cycling into a commute. 

People make better leaders when they feel like they are at their job as a matter of choice. Ideally, managers should try to arrange their lives, so they have a cushion of money and an exit strategy if they need to leave. If stress does become too great and leaving is not the answer, they may want to look into counseling through an employee assistance program.