Posted By PayNW May 19, 2022
Nearly one in five adults in the United States will have a diagnosable mental health condition in any given year. We talk about mental health more today, but the stigma still exists, and the workplace is one area where that can feel extra heavy. Here is how businesses and managers can collectively become more aware mental health issues in the workplace.
Employee Mental Health at Work
We can all help break the stigma and check in on each other, and ourselves. Increasing awareness might encourage someone out there to change course and get the care they need.
Even if it’s just that one person, that means everything.
Thinking back over the last several years, it’s staggering how much we’ve seen the conversation around employees’ mental health evolve, largely due to the pandemic. That doesn’t just include discussions of the signs and symptoms themselves, but a recognition of how mental health affects other areas as well.
Simply put, prioritizing the mental health and wellness of your employees is not just for their benefit, but for the benefit of your company. Happy and healthy employees are better, more productive workers.
There's no reason not to work on creating a healthy work environment, or a workplace wellbeing initiative.
Benefits of Healthy and Engaged Employees
When employees are healthy and engaged, they are more likely to be productive and have a positive impact. If employers make employee mental health a priority, they can play a vital role in creating an environment where people can bring their best selves to work.
We know that every individual we work with is dealing with their own struggles, large or small, and we should all be cognizant of that while assisting in each coworker’s situation.
How to Promote Employee Health and Wellness
When it comes to helping, there are several proactive tools companies can employ:
Make Employees Aware of Employee Assistance Programs
Ensure you are sending out clear messaging around how employees can take advantage of Employee Assistance Programs (EAP), which are offered by most workplaces.
Reminding employees about your EAP and other mental health benefits informs, and reminds them of the support available. It also indicates that using these mental health resources is supported by the company, such as getting a referral to see a counselor.
Create a Health Work Environment
The workplace should be an environment in which a healthy work-life balance and taking time off are promoted, and where employees feel safe enough to talk about mental health like they would talk about having a cold.
Use Teambuilding Events
General awareness of these needs and team-building events around them are a great place to start.
For example, this month PayNW is hosting guided meditations each week. We encourage companies to make the topic of mental health less taboo. By scheduling stress-relief activities, conducting meaningful conversations, and highlighting benefits, we allow employees to feel safe and heard.
Employee Mental Health Resources
According to Mental Health America, less than 50% of employees are aware of the mental health benefits their company offers. If you’re struggling, or know someone who might be, it’s important to look over company offerings and use them like you would any other benefit.
Should you have any questions about your employer’s EAP services, talk to an HR representative. If you’re concerned about privacy, there’s no need to worry. Nothing is more important to EAP teams than confidentiality, and these programs have strict systems in place to protect that right.
With the sensitive nature of this subject, we’re all playing a bit of catch-up on the mental health front. It’s been a personal mission of ours to ensure PayNW is doing all it can to support and educate our team.
With the tools and knowledge we’ve all gained, let’s join forces to put any remaining stigma around mental health behind us. Let’s move forward toward a new, more understanding workplace and society. A healthier one.
Get Help With Employee Wellness and Mental Health Initiatives
If you are struggling to give your employees a healthy and welcoming environment at work, it may be time to talk to a Human Resources company about better workforce management solutions.
To learn more, contact us today.