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How To Prioritize Mental Health In The Workplace

Mental health is an incredibly important part of our overall health that unfortunately is commonly overlooked. In recent years, stresses from the pandemic, inflation, along with many other contributing factors have led to further deterioration. To recognize Mental Health Awareness Month, we have gathered different ways you can prioritize the health of your employees this month and beyond.

Ensure Employees Are Taking Time Away From Work

In 2021, Americans took the fewest number of PTO days out of everyone on the planet. In 2019, research conducted by the U.S. Travel Association found that 55% of Americans did not use all of their paid time off. So why are people leaving vacation on the table and letting their health suffer from burnout? Vacation guilt and worries about work are common reasons. It’s crucial that employees are given the needed time to unplug and recharge, and a lack thereof can be detrimental to their overall health. Encourage paid time off and ensure employees are fully disconnected while out of office. 

Train Your Leaders To Help

It’s important to increase awareness so people in the workplace can notice when a coworker is struggling with their mental health. Offering managers the opportunity to attend trainings focused on the subject equips them with the skills to support those with mental illness as well as help the well-being of the rest of their teammates. Each illness is different and it’s important that managers approach each employee as an individual. 

Provide Mental Health Benefits 

Mercer’s 2021 Health on Demand Report found that of 14,000 employees across 13 countries, 44% of employees, who didn’t have access to mental health benefits, felt unsupported by their employers. Benefits can include a wide range of offerings, from weekly meditation to discounts on therapy sessions. It’s important to provide a tiered benefit program that offers a variety of different options that can benefit each individual’s unique needs. 

Fight The Stigma 

A stigma causes people to feel ashamed for something that is out of their control. There are plenty of ways to fight the mental health stigma, including open communication, education, compassion, along with many others.  In addition to providing options, it’s important to communicate with your employees the different opportunities available and offer a safe space for discussion. Let your employees know the importance in your workplace and encourage open communication. 

The mental health of your employees is more important now than ever. This month, take the necessary steps to support, recognize, and positively impact the mental health of your employees. They will thank you! 

Mental Health Resources: 

SAMHSA’s National Helpline 

Help For Mental Illnesses

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