Service Workers’ Struggles with Mental Health

truck driver driving

When our days are filled to the brim with work, friends, and families, we no longer notice some small things that occur. We don’t notice the doors that open for us when we enter buildings. We barely see the mop that cleans the floor that we walk on. Our focus is solely on the coffee cup that’s waiting for us, and not the person on the other side of the counter who handed it to us.

But that has to change because the service workers are the ones who make our days a bit easier. We spend mere seconds with them during the day. But sometimes, we forget that they’ve stood there behind the counter, mopped those floors, and stood guard in front of buildings for hours on end. We tend to forget that their jobs also take a huge toll on them, especially their mental health.

Mental Health in the Workplace

Some of us are lucky to have access to healthcare. But some of us are even luckier to have access to mental healthcare. In some jobs all over the world, not just the United States, mental health is deemed to be non-essential. It’s not really a problem. And if it is, then it’s easily fixed. We have to pull ourselves together.

But that’s not the case. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) stated that one out of five American adults, ages 18 and older, struggle with mental health issues. To be precise, these people amount to around 44.7 million people or 18.3 percent of the adult population. Out of these adults, 71 percent of them stated that they have at least one symptom of stress: headache, feelings of overwhelmingness, anxiety, and the like.

The researchers at the CDC explained that having poor mental health and stress impacts an employee’s job performance and productivity, engagement, communication, and physical capability. So it’s crucial for employers, co-workers, community members, and government leaders have to work together to overcome these mental health struggles for all workers.

upset woman in a corner

Truck Drivers

Out of the three million people who work in the shipping industry, one million are truck drivers. Every day, they face one of the hardest jobs out there: driving huge trucks for long hours at a time. The most daunting part of their jobs is loneliness.

A study found that 27.9 percent of the truck drivers that they surveyed reported they suffer from loneliness. Then, 26.9 percent of them said that they suffer from depression, 20.6 percent said they experience chronic sleep disturbances, 14.5 percent said they feel anxious, and 13 percent experience other emotional problems.

Truck drivers are some of the most underrepresented and unrecognized workers across the country. So this stress contributes to their overall mental health. It is good that truck-driver rights lawyers can help them with what they need. But we, too, can help them in our own ways.

Restaurant Workers

When we’re hungry and eager to get our hearty meals, we barely glance at the server that slides a plate on our table. We don’t even think about the cooks who have been riddled with fatigue, running around in the chaotic kitchen. Due to the frantic nature of their jobs, they, too, suffer from mental health issues.

A study found that 73 percent of restaurant workers suffer from various mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, and substance abuse. Many factors affect their struggle. Some of them are the long hours, low wages, and the stress of dealing with diners.

Cleaning Crews

Janitors, bathroom attendants, and other custodians are always there when we need them. When we spill food or drinks, they’re there to mop them all up. They keep bathrooms in top shape so that we’re always comfortable. But their difficult job leads to negative impacts on their health.

A study found that these workers suffer from stress, frustration, and fear. Fear is particular to them. We might find it surprising, but their job has a high risk of bodily injuries and broken bones. They often slip and fall because the nature of their jobs demands that they be quick and productive at all times, leaving no time for rest.

To do our part as members of the community, we have to do what we can to show our appreciation for them. We have to help them in various ways. But the first step to helping them is by understanding their struggles, especially on their mental health. Knowing the roots of their problems will help change their jobs for the better in the long run.

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