Implementing A Workplace Mental Health Strategy

Since the pandemic, workplace mental health has increasingly been a point of focus for employers, with about 4 in 5 employers offering some sort of solution to better support their employees mental health struggles. But for employers who don’t have a current mental health strategy in place, they might not be sure why to implement one or how to get started.

A recent Gallup survey revealed that almost 63% of male and female employees ages 18-29 say they struggle from poor mental health, and 47% of these individuals report that their job has been a contributing factor to this struggle.

Even further, 57% of these employees don’t have access to or aren’t sure of what employer-sponsored solutions they have available to them, to get the help they need.

It’s important that employers provide resources to improve more than just physical health, but the mental health of their workforce. When an employee is not bringing their whole selves to work, organizations can suffer from increased sick days, turnover, and presenteeism. So how can employers implement a mental health strategy at their workplace?

  1. In-person and Telephonic Mental Health Counseling

Providing onsite or telephonic counseling resources is the primary way that employers can provide mental health support for their employees. By having previously vetted therapists and counselors at their disposal, employees will never wonder who or where they need to go to access support. A survey conducted by SHRM on administrators of health plans across the U.S., found that almost 89% of health plans are “actively recruiting mental health care providers, including practitioners who reflect the diversity of the people they serve.” As employees continue to expect mental health resources, employers are working with their benefits consultants to increase the services they offer. 

  1. Company Culture Audit

Creating a healthy company culture will have a strong impact on the mental health of your workplace. Leadership should watch, listen, and ask employees how they’d define the current atmosphere of the workplace. How would they describe morale? Are they satisfied with the work they are doing? What stressors impact their ability to work efficiently and confidently? Is there anything they would change about the atmosphere of the workplace? By working directly with the employees of an organization, employers are giving them the opportunity to speak their mind and play a key role in shaping initiatives moving forward.

  1. Company-Wide Initiatives

After assessing the current culture of their workplace, it’s important that employers provide initiatives focused on addressing mental health stressors. This can include guided programs, access or discounted memberships to stress management apps, group challenges, providing additional mental health days on top of PTO, lunch & learns, and encouraging company-wide conversations about mental health. Removing the stigma associated with mental health struggles can positively impact company culture and encourage employees to get the help needed. Providing onsite resources and programs also fosters a sense of community and reflects that leadership care about their employees’ health.

Taking a whole-person approach to healthcare, means looking beyond the physical well-being of your workforce, and providing resources to improve the emotional health of employees. By providing accessible mental health solutions at the workplace, employers can make a significant impact on the health and culture of their organization.