According to a 2021 study by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), an estimated 28.2 million adults experienced severe mental illness in the previous year. Many of these adults with jobs were absent for many days or were substantially less productive than colleagues because of mental health struggles.
Employees with good mental health are more engaged in their work and remain with the organization longer than employees with poor mental health. Also, companies that provide employee mental health support have decreased health care and disability costs. As a result, improving your team’s mental health should be among your top priorities.
Implement these tips to improve your team’s mental health.
Engage in Mental Health Awareness Training
Learn to recognize the signs of emotional distress in your employees. You can react in a supportive manner and provide relevant resources. Educating yourself on mental health training helps you be aware of and invested in your team’s well-being.
Talk About Mental Health Resources
Regularly talk with your team about the mental health benefits included in your company’s health insurance plan. Also, mention free or low-cost services available through local nonprofit organizations.
Provide your team with remote or hybrid work arrangements, a flexible schedule, leaves of absence, and other flexibility. Also, encourage your employees to use the paid time off to enjoy time with family and friends.
Encourage your team to practice deep breathing, mindfulness, meditation, or yoga for stress reduction. Also, remind your employees to get adequate sleep every night. Additionally, schedule monthly team-building activities to support work relationships.
Advocate for Mental Health Benefits
Encourage HR to include coverage for mental health services in the employee health insurance plan. Determine how many psychologists and psychiatrists are in-network if these services are already covered.
Advocate for HR to provide a health savings account (HSA) to offset out-of-pocket costs for employees who use mental health services. If an HSA already exists, educate your team on how it can help cover mental health services.
Encourage an Employee Assistance Program
If your company does not have an employee assistance program (EAP) to support employee mental health, ask HR to implement one. Suggest posting notices about the EAP in the break rooms and sending out a monthly mental health newsletter reminding employees to use the program.
Point out to your team that the EAP is paid for and available for them to use as much as they want. Employees can get assistance without having to use their insurance. Educating your team about the EAP helps reduce the stigma of using the program.
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