- A coalition of mental health organizations have created an assessment to connect employers with tools, resources, best practices and support for employees with mental health needs, including information on building a culture of wellness in the workplace. The organizations include the Center for Workplace Mental Health, Mental Health America (MHA) and One Mind at Work, a program of One Mind.
- The assessment, a 20-question survey, focuses on four chief components: building a healthy organization and culture; improving access to services and supports; raising awareness and training; and the importance of leadership. According to the coalition, assessment resources include information that makes the business case for employers to take action.
- "The places where we work affect our overall mental health and well-being. This assessment will allow everyone — both employers and employees — to understand the impact of their existing programs, define new areas of focus, and ultimately improve how workplaces impact everyone's mental health," Paul Gionfriddo, President and CEO of MHA, said in a statement.
Workers reportedly are more stressed and burned out today than ever before; in fact, according to a study released by Wrike last year, only 6% of workers surveyed said they did not suffer from stress. Additionally, more than half of 18- to 34-year-olds surveyed previously by MHA said their productivity at work suffers due to stress over the demands of their jobs. Compounding issues, workers have also said that finding mental health care through their employers is difficult.
Employers stand to lose billions of dollars in lost productivity from stress and burnout alone, various estimates show. For that reason, employers have taken another look at their mental wellness offerings. Employee assistance programs (EAPs) have re-emerged as a solution as providers reconsider their metrics and branding; while many employers have traditionally focused on cost and utilization, providers are pushing employers to consider outcomes in their value projections. A lack of marketing, also, has created a stigma around EAPs that they are only for drug addition or other highly stigmatized health issues, despite their record of success in helping employees handle stress and other mental health issues.
To help build a culture of wellness, HR can also train managers to recognize signs of mental illness or burnout and encourage employees to take the time they need to recharge outside of work hours.