6 Ways to Promote Mental Health in the Workplace - A Step-by-Step Guide


6 Ways to Promote Mental Health in the Workplace - A Step-by-Step Guide

Here's an overview of steps employers can take to support mental health in the workplace, from measuring their benefits to creating an open and positive workplace culture.

Mental health in the workplace is a very important topic for employers to consider in 2020 and beyond. Untreated mental health problems can affect employees' quality of life and quality of work, and studies have shown that access to support and treatment options makes a big difference.

A study by the World Health Organization found that depression and anxiety cost the world economy $1 trillion a year in lost productivity. According to the Canadian Mental Health Association, one in five adults receives a mental health diagnosis each year, and employees who receive treatment for mental health problems report better job performance and job satisfaction.

If a high-stress work environment is a chronic problem, it can lead to permanent financial and employee problems. Work-related stress has increased dramatically over the past few years, with 67% of workers saying they are more stressed today than in 2019.

Furthermore, 40% of workers say work they are under intense pressure, with a quarter of workers describing their work as workers. The number one cause of stress in their lives, according to a CDC health study. 

Since work stress is a better predictor of health problems than personal, financial or family problems, these statistics are relevant: In addition to affecting the well-being of employees, stressful jobs can cause higher medical costs. Sometimes high work pressure is caused by temporary situations, such as new management, open enrollment, system changes, or work hours. But if a high-stress work environment is a chronic problem, it can lead to financial and permanent staffing problems in your organization.

World Mental Health Day, October 10, recognizes the need to act on mental health issues.

 Read: Top 10 Futures of Work Jobs and Skills in 2030

Here are 6 Ways Employers can Improve Mental Health at Work


1. Talk about it

One of the best ways to improve employee well-being is to help employees talk openly about mental health. Identifying the problem and making it an acceptable topic of conversation - breaking down barriers around accepting work-related stress - can create progress in itself, helping employees to understand that they are not alone.

Encouraging employees to take time off also helps. A short walk outside, a long break, or a healthy meal can help workers return to work refreshed. Stopping at the desk and screen also helps to create a social atmosphere, allowing employees to spend a few minutes relaxing with their colleagues.

Creating a culture of open and respectful communication even affects building teams with remote and hybrid employees, including making regular check-in calls and hosting social events such as employee health challenges.

These types of relationships do not form an important foundation when employees work together on projects and projects. It also boosts the morale of all employees.


2. Improve physical and emotional health

When management encourages positive physical and emotional behavior, it affects the entire workplace. But the involvement of leaders is important. When leaders introduce and participate in workplace health challenges, motivational programs, and holistic health programs, not only does employee health improve, but there are significant savings as well. Learn more about the company's startup wellness programs and high participation rates here.


3. Provide mental health resources

There are many programs that promote mental well-being at work. Programs that combine education and personalized activities can help employees feel supported and provide tools and strategies to cope. For example, Care book's Core Health offers the company's MindQ mental wellness challenge, which combines key elements of resilience, life satisfaction, and lasting emotional health.

In addition, mental health research can examine different aspects of an employee's psychological strengths and challenges in relation to their work experience.

Additionally, Wellness Checkpoint by Care book offers a series of mental health assessments, including resilience, emotional well-being, financial well-being, and work stress. These and other assessments provide a comprehensive view of the mental health needs of employees and provide a starting point for effective and relevant mental health programs.


4. Provide user assistance programs

The advice and support provided by EAPs is the first step many companies take for the greater good of the company. In fact, 97% of large companies now offer EAPs. As there is a focus on mental health in the workplace, these companies focus on programs aimed at chronic stress, anxiety, depression, fatigue, and more.


5. Create a healthy work environment

The work environment is known to have a significant impact on employee psychological well-being, productivity, job turnover, and overall profitability. Leaders can influence a positive work environment by having an open policy, keeping employees informed of developments, departmental changes, business goals, and strategies.

These provide guidance, build trust and reduce employee stress. There are also policies changes above that can benefit your employee culture, including flexible hours so employees can exercise and meet their personal needs while working a full day move to a home office or a day or two a week.


6. Show your interest

According to Dee Edington, a well-known expert on workplace well-being, "cooperation is an important part of the organization when people and groups of interest understand and care about the values ​​and conditions of work. It manifests itself daily through the expression and acceptance of excellence in personal and professional relationships. For those of us who work in health, wellness and health, we talk about care every day.

Your organization can show care by offering community service days, family events, recognizing positive employee and employee support, and promoting the voice of employees and management at community meetings and events. 

Mental health plays an important role. It can affect the lives of employees and their families, productivity, profitability and success of your organization. With mental health resources available and research reasons to promote them, getting started is easy.


More Tips for Promoting Mental Health in the Workplace

6 Ways to Promote Mental Health in the Workplace - A Step-by-Step Guide

Below are some key points of Flasterstein's work that members can contribute to achieve this goal.


• Think of investing in mental health as investing in your business

All organizations need to understand that there is a business case for investing in employee mental health and making it a priority. "When I talk to companies, what I try to emphasize is that by investing in the mental health of your employees, your company will make more money," says Flasterstein.

According to a study by the World Health Organization, every dollar invested in mental health treatment results in $4 in improved health and productivity.

• Check your value

The immediate research area is your ongoing benefit program. If you currently offer health insurance, for example, does your policy include mental health coverage? There are many other areas to consider from a mental health perspective, including vacation policies and employee assistance programs. 

Investing in policy plans and insurance coverage can provide a solid foundation of support so that any employee struggling with mental health issues can get the help they need. "My experience working in mental health is that the least things can go on, because people don't talk about mental health at all." - Yasmin Flasterstein, Co-Founder and CEO, Peer Support Space


• Maintain good mental health to prevent burnout

A Gallup survey shows that two-thirds of employees are frustrated. Providing mental health support in the workplace can help reduce this number within your own organization. "The lack of mental health support for employees leads to lost productivity. This leads to burnouts - and many fires, where people are less interested in their work than they are 'before, " says Flasterstein. "They don't do much, and eventually fatigue can lead to more serious mental health problems, including depression, anxiety, or even suicide."


• Create a culture of openness to stress in the workplace

Flasterstein says it's important to talk about other stressors that can cause problems for professionals, such as impostor syndrome. "A lot of people, especially people in positions of power, feel like frauds, and they're just waiting to be found out," he said. "The truth is that if we talk about these things, we become better workers."

Peer Support Space uses a peer-to-peer approach to help people struggling with mental health issues connect with others who have experienced similar issues. In addition, encouraging leaders and management skills to talk openly about challenges and struggles in their own workplaces, even large ones, can help create an open and supportive culture.


• Encourage employees to take time off

It may be time to consider adding mental health days or letting employees know that sick days can be used more than once. If policies require a doctor's note for absence, for example, this can create additional challenges for employees who may fear stigma surrounding mental health issues. 

"One of the things we like to do is give rest days. You can extend sick days or just give healthy days. It shows that as an employer, you understand mental health and value it," Flasterstein said. "It also lets employees know that if they're experiencing anything, they have power to talk about it, because you are an organization that believes in mental health."


• Take steps to support a diverse workforce

As part of your diversity and inclusion strategy, consider offering additional support to any individual or group that may be facing challenges. It is important to take steps to recognize and support diversity in the workplace, and employers and employees sponsor events that can help employees who are interested in related topics connect with those again and finding a space to discuss mental health issues is important.


How to start

As Flasterstein aptly put it, “My experience with mental health is that the least things can go on, because people don't talk about mental health at all. And even if you have a weekly meeting, taking the time to do some self-examination before you start the meeting lets your employees know, "Oh, you're thinking about me; look, I'm a It's not my job and I want to do something.''

It is important to consider how your organization invests in mental health in the workplace. If you have a strong choice in a place, it may be time to go deeper. If you're just starting out, simple changes can lead to significant progress.

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