In 2020, The Society For Human Resource Management (SHRM) reported that 61% of workers said their productivity was affected by their mental health, and 30% noted that their work environment contributed to their symptoms.
Employers have taken note, with SHRM providing an update that 89% of HR/benefits leaders said mental health support was a higher priority for their company in 2021
With increased awareness of how mental health impacts overall health and well-being, more companies are finding ways to support employee wellness. Today, we look at five ways companies are providing better mental health care for their employees.
1. Promoting Mental Health Awareness
Knowledge is power.
By sharing information with employees, companies promote mental health awareness. As a result, employees see the company understands the importance of mental health and are more likely to reach out when they struggle. Awareness is promoted with various approaches, including:
- Organized support groups for employees
- Portals for anonymous access to mental health services
- Training to improve communication, reduce conflict, and empower employees to become better problem solvers
- Employee assistance programs (EAP) with detailed information on how to access the program
2. Increasing Flexibility in the Workplace
Burnout often occurs when employees can’t maintain a healthy work-life balance.
Flexible workplaces where employees can choose their own hours or have the option to work from home, support work-life balance while making employees feel more in control of their lives.
The hybrid workplace is here to stay, with the availability of improved telecommuting capabilities. Other companies offer unlimited paid time off (PTO) policies allowing employees to take “mental health days” or stay home to care for sick family members without worrying their jobs are at risk.
3. Reducing Workplace Stress
Chronic workplace stress can contribute to physical and mental health problems.
While complete stress elimination is impossible, effective stress reduction methods do exist. Companies are identifying key stress triggers and trying to reduce their impact with improvements such as:
- Reducing heavy workloads
- Setting realistic performance expectations
- Zero tolerance for unacceptable workplace behavior such as bullying, threats, discrimination, etc.
- Clear communication to reduce worries about job insecurity
- Limiting the number of hours worked
- Scheduling remote meetings to reduce travel
- Creating a healthier company culture
- Conflict resolution
Employers have learned that stress reduction improves morale and mental health, which increases engagement.
4. Improved Benefits
Benefits focused on wellness improve mental well-being.
Companies offering mental health services, such as therapy ensure employees receive support. Support is not just available through treatments but also includes:
- Financial planning services to reduce stress
- Discount programs for local gyms
- Onsite massages
- Meditation rooms
- Living walls to provide more oxygen and create a sense of calm
Flex benefits allowing employees to choose wellness services or activities to improve mental health, such as yoga, meditation classes, stress reduction workshops, etc., are also becoming more popular.
5. Manager Training
Training teaches tolerance and better ways to deal with problems that can contribute to mental health issues. Training entire workforces can also help reduce the risk of issues such as bullying and conflict among co-workers. Open conversations about mental health create a more tolerant company culture where employees feel comfortable seeking assistance.
When employers help shoulder the burden of care, they ensure employees have what they need to maintain wellness.
About Samaritan Counseling Center
Our Vision: Samaritan Counseling Center’s vision is to empower communities, families, and individuals in their journey to live the best version of themselves.
Our Mission: Samaritan engages all people as they are – mentally, spiritually, financially – offering evidence-based psychological care for hope, help, and healing.
Our Values: Teamwork, Client Satisfaction, Clinical Excellence, Community Engagement, Inclusiveness, Gratitude
Samaritan is accredited by The Solihten Institute.