By Nadene Evans
May has arrived, which means Mental Health Awareness Month is upon us. 2022 has been difficult as workers prepare to return to the workplace, kids returned to school; and still, the stresses of the pandemic linger.
According to this CNBC study, mental health in the workplace is an issue that is not going away. Per the article:
- A Kaiser Family Foundation poll earlier this year found that nearly half of Americans report that the pandemic is harming their mental health.
- Companies are offering employees a plethora of behavioral health options, including access to therapists, coaching, wellness and meditation apps, mental health breaks, paid time off and flexible schedules.
- Helping employees understand that right now it’s okay not to be okay is perhaps one of the biggest benefits of a focus on emotional health.
With this in mind we’ve compiled 5 ways you can support your employees that could make a big impact on their mental health.
1. Create a safe space for mental awareness conversations
It is important to foster an environment which allows employees to talk and share about challenges in their lives in a judgement-free zone. Here are some platforms that can help you do this.
- SLACK. Create a new Slack Channel for easy conversations for those who wish to join
- ZOOM. Have a zoom open conversation hour for employees this month once a week. Encourage open, honest communication with face to face opportunities.
- SIMPLR. Simplr allows remote teams to feel more connected during conversations.
2. Offer a Mental Health coaching platform to your employees
Boon Health is a great tool that integrates into HR platforms and fosters mental wellness amongst teams. Boon’s personalized coaching platform empowers your team to become more resilient versions of themselves to overcome challenges and reach their goals.
3. Create a Mental Health time off policy
Offering employees the opportunity to decompress and not feel obligated to come to work when their mental health is an issue is just as important as allowing time off for physical health.
Danny Speros of Zenefits said, “Smart Employers recognize the importance of creating an atmosphere where it is OK to say “I cannot come in today I’m taking a mental health day” without fear.”
4. Normalize conversations around mental well being
According to Forbes, Gen Z and Gen Y are more tuned to their mental health needs than previous generations. Unfortunately, Gen X and Boomer Generational workers participated in years of workplaces where it was taboo to say that you were not OK. Luckily, the stigma of mental awareness and mental health bing perceived as a weakness are in the past. It is important for companies to recognize this, and add mental well being solutions to their employee benefits packages.
Speaking of which…
5. Add Mental Health Support Benefits boldly into wellness packages for your employees.
In addition to Wellness Coaching, you can offer Counseling services, free access to meditation apps, grief counseling, and other EAP offerings.
Whatever steps you take for Mental Health Awareness Day 2022, we hope you take the time to show your employees you care about them and their well-being, both physical and mental.