Mental health is finally being given the attention in the workplace that it deserves. With one in five American adults facing a mental illness according to the CDC, it’s likely that most of your clients have employees who are facing this challenge.
Even if none of their employees are being treated for a specific mental illness, the CDC also reports that over 70% of the workforce experiences stress levels that are high enough to impact their physical health.
Now let’s factor in the COVID-19 pandemic which has heightened stress and created anxiety on a widespread scale. Employers are seeing the significant impact of mental health on productivity and want their employees to be healthy and happy -- so they’re taking action.
If your clients are seeking guidance for improving mental health in their workplace, here are some resources you can share with them.
- The CDC’s Mental Health in the Workplace brief
The CDC is a trusted source for information pertaining to both physical and mental health. In their brief, Mental Health in the Workplace, they provide information that employers can use to address their own workplace.
The brief contains:
- Statistics to put workplace mental health in perspective
- Solutions employers can use to improve the mental health condition in their workplace
- Success stories
- Additional strategies employers can utilize
The information within the brief is backed by extensive, recent research.
- The American Psychiatric Association’s Center for Workplace Mental Health website
The American Psychiatric Association has also recognized the prevalence of mental health issues in the workplace and responded by creating a website dedicated to updating employers on everything they need to know about improving mental well-being in their workplace.
Since this is a live website, it’s always evolving with relevant information. For example, there’s currently a section for COVID-19 and its impact on mental health and well-being. There are additional, general sections for businesses cases, case studies and additional resources.
- The World Health Organization’s Mental Health in the Workplace Information Sheet
The World Health Organization is another trusted resource that employers can turn to for guidance on mental health. Their mental health in the workplace information sheet gives concise information and action items for how employers can support their resources.
Some sections include:
- Work-related risk factors for health
- Creating a healthy workplace
- Supporting people with mental disorders at work
- WHO response
- Mental Health America’s “Mind the Workplace”
Mental Health America is a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting overall mental health and assisting people living with mental illness. They have a resource center on their website specifically geared towards the workplace, all backed by extensive research.
One key tool on this site is their 2020 Workplace Health Survey, which helps organizations understand where their strengths and weaknesses are when it comes to workplace mental health.
The site also includes clear, actionable steps employers can take to create a healthier workplace.
- The Society for Human Resource Management
SHRM’s mission is to create better workplaces across the board. They have done an excellent job of emphasizing the role mental health plays in that mission.
Searching “mental health” on their website reveals thousands of results that employers can use within their workplaces. Some notable resources include:
- Webcast: More Than Just Stress: Improving Mental Well-Being in the Workplace
- Managing Mental Health During A Pandemic and Beyond
- Toolkit: Employing People with Mental Health Disabilities
- Their telehealth provider
With telehealth gaining popularity since the COVD-19 pandemic, this is a great resource for employers to look into. In general, mental health services have increased their telehealth presence since the beginning of 2020 in order to keep serving their patients when they needed it most.
Employers can get information about mental health teleservices and share it with their employees so they know they have somewhere to turn to for mental health assistance, regardless of current situations and limitations.
- Their broker
While brokers aren’t expected to have all the answers when it comes to mental health, they can act as trusted advisors by proactively sharing additional resources with clients. Brokers can also start much-needed conversations with employers who have not yet incorporated mental health benefits into their offerings.
It’s important for brokers to be proactive and communicative with clients to help them achieve a better workplace mental health environment. It’s going to be a long-term process that takes consistent effort, and it’s important for brokers to be by their clients’ sides every step of the way.