The issue of employee mental health continues to be a growing concern for many businesses and organizations.
Recent data from Accenture indicates that about two thirds of workers may be experiencing mental health challenges at any given time. Further, 9 in 10 workers have been affected by mental health issues in some way – either issues of their own, or those of a family member, coworker or friend.
The vital question for executives and other leaders in businesses or organizations is: How can we support the mental health of our most valuable asset? In other words, how can we help create an actual workplace culture of mental wellness for our people?
Research and best practices indicate that there are just two keys:
1. Signaling that mental health matters
Many employees don’t open up about mental health for fear of limited opportunities, or shaming, or some other more subtle means of reprisal. Validating employees who share – particularly by making his or her own mental health challenges public, if possible – is the simplest and most effective thing a true leader can do.
2. Supporting mental health with training and resources
The number of tools available for this task continues to multiply, from in-person and online training, to resources for small on-site support groups, to websites and online groups, and even professional treatment via Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs).
Of course, including these resources in your employee benefits plan means embracing a wellness mindset when it comes to mental health.
Making the Complex Simple
Mental health issues in the workplace need to be directly addressed. Wise businesses and organizations can help meet this need with a comprehensive and forward-thinking approach to employee benefits.