How to embrace workplace vulnerability, according to mental health expert Dr. Ejiro Ogbevoen

4 min read
Laura Furlong
  •  May 31, 2022
Link copied to clipboard

With one in four U.S. adult citizens suffering from a mental health disorder, it’s important to take care of yourself and tune in to how you’re feeling year round. This includes in remote, hybrid, or any type of workplace. 

May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and with it, a renewed emphasis on the significant role mental health plays in our overall well-being. It impacts how we feel, what we think, and how we behave. But it is important to note that just because one month a year is dedicated to mental health awareness, does not mean it should fall by the wayside the rest of the year. 

This past month, InVision sat down with Dr. Ejiro Ogbevoen, a fully accredited member of the Irish Association of Counseling & Psychotherapy (IACP) with a degree in counseling and psychotherapy, to discuss mental health not only in the workplace, but with yourself.

Below, we reflect on the three key insights from InVision’s conversation with Dr. Ogbevoen.

We all make mistakes — embrace the vulnerability

“There is no one person who is beyond mistakes and feeling vulnerable,” Dr. Ogbevoen says.

Put another way — everyone makes mistakes! You may have heard this time and again, but it still rings true. Mistakes are a part of learning in your everyday life and the workplace. 

Dr. Ogbevoen’s takeaway: Don’t be afraid to make mistakes and learn from them. The key is to own up to these mistakes and realize that they happen, but to learn from them and move forward after they occur.

Employers play a critical role in creating safe spaces

When discussing how organizations can create a safe space for employees, Dr. Ogbevoen says that role modeling that safe space and behavior can be a vital component. 

“Role modeling what good looks like is something any organization can do.”

It’s down to all employers and employees to create a safe environment where everyone can come together, be vulnerable, and feel supported. 

“Role modeling what good looks like is something any organization can do.”

Dr. Ogbevoen’s tip: In the future, if you hear of someone struggling from stress or burnout, reach out and ensure they are okay and offer the support they may need.

Loneliness can affect employees, but it does not need to be synonymous with isolation

Being alone doesn’t mean you need to feel lonely or isolated. Therapy and counseling help individuals feel supported with their thoughts and self criticism.

“You are ultimately alone in this world. There are things that we need to come to terms with. For many of us, it might mean you have to speak to someone. Being alone doesn’t mean being lonely or isolated. It is about supporting our self thoughts and self criticism,” she says.

Dr. Ogbevoen recommended checking with your company or organization to see if they offer free counseling or other supportive measures to ensure you can discuss your feelings and thoughts in a healthy way. 

For further Mental Health Awareness month resources, check out Mental Health First Aid

Collaborate in real time on a digital whiteboard