How to Support the Mental Health of Your Employees

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recognized mental health issues as among the most burdensome health conditions in the country. Almost one in five American adults was living with a mental health disorder in 2016. And the numbers have only gotten worse since COVID-19 entered our lives. In fact, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported in March 2022 that global rates of depression are up by over 27%. Anxiety disorders are up by more than 25%. With about 63% of Americans in the workforce, that means a lot of workers are struggling with their mental health. Here’s how you can help.

  • Create a culture of health: It’s always easier and less expensive to prevent problems than to solve them. Implementing a workplace health promotion program is not only good for your employees but also for your bottom line.
  • Promote open discussion: Many people try to hide their struggles at work for fear of retaliation. Foster an open, trusting environment in which mental health concerns are simply a fact of life.
  • Provide free screening tools: Make free mental health self-assessment tools available and easy for your workers to access.
  • Subsidize clinical screenings: For those employees who are having difficulty, consider footing the bill for a professional assessment.
  • Offer low-cost, high-coverage health insurance: Provide health insurance for everyone, and make sure the plans you’re offering cover such basics as mental health counseling and medications.
  • Host stress management workshops: Yoga, guided meditation, and mindfulness are just a few ways to lower stress levels and promote mental health.
  • Distribute literature: Many people don’t know the signs of mental health conditions. Distribute materials that explain what to look for and how to get help.
  • Create quiet zones: When life gets overwhelming, simply retreating to a quiet space can help people relax and recharge. If your team is working in the office, carve out a few spots that are quiet and not so harshly lit.
  • Offer flexibility: Many people are nervous about returning to the office, and for good reason. The pandemic is changing, but it’s not fully over. They may have health conditions that put them at higher risk or live with someone at high risk. They might worry about other people’s behavior on public transportation, have childcare concerns, or something else entirely. When possible, offer flexible solutions such as remote or hybrid work.

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