How To Promote Mental Health Awareness In The Workplace
May 25, 2021

2020 has taken its toll on the mental health of individuals globally, and more now than ever before, we need to work to promote mental health in the workplace. Regardless of your business size and the industry you work within, raising awareness about mental health is critical. Here we’re going to share some of our top suggestions for improving mental health awareness in your workplace.

Why Raise Awareness About Mental Health?

Our mental health is just as important as our physical health, but are you aware of how many individuals are affected by mental health issues every year? As per the National Alliance on Mental Illness, 1 in 5 Americans suffer from at least one mental health issue each year. That’s 47.6 million people annually. Additionally, According to one CDC report, which surveyed adults across the U.S. in late June of 2020, 31% of respondents reported symptoms of anxiety or depression. Poor mental health can affect day-to-day tasks, the workplace environment, and employee motivation. Raising awareness about mental health can reduce the chance of your employees needing time off, as they’ll be more likely to take care of their minds and bodies instead of letting issues get on top of them.

How To Improve Mental Health Awareness In The Workplace

The first step to improving mental health awareness in your workplace is to start having more open conversations about mental health. This could be through team meetings, employee satisfaction surveys, company bulletins, and having a dedicated HR team. Mental health is still considered taboo in some parts of society today, and we need to work to shatter this stereotype and encourage people to talk about their struggles as they would with their physical health. Add mental health modules into company training programs, and ensure everyone from entry-level employees to your leaders are more aware of the subject.

To improve mental health awareness within your workplace, you also need to have a solid system for mental health concerns. Just as you would allow your employees to take sick days or visit a doctor for a physical health concern, encourage them to do the same for their mental health. You can support your employees by allowing them to take vacation time or mental health days a couple of times a year to increase productivity and promote employee satisfaction. Additionally, employers can ensure they have a clear set of guidelines for team members who report mental health concerns and know who to refer them to for additional support.

Why Mental Health Should Be A Concern For Employers

Another CDC survey found that 51% of people reported worse mental health at work since Covid-19 started. Mental health issues can cause employees to leave their job. This can present sudden problems with production, difficulty filling positions, and keeping reliable workers. Employers should encourage team leaders to look out for employees by checking in with their team members in private to ensure they are doing okay. A healthy workplace will encourage team members to stay within your company for many years, and improved well-being boosts productivity and engagement. By cultivating a pleasant working environment every day, you’ll find that your team members will become more open and communicative about issues they are facing in the future.

As mental health has become more widely understood in our county, it’s no surprise that companies realize the importance of promoting mental health awareness. By following the suggestions listed above and offering your team members the appropriate resources when they need assistance, you’ll enjoy the benefits of a healthy and happy workforce for many years to come. 
If you are looking for a team to improve mental health awareness within your organization, contact the experts at Merritt Business Solutions.