Steps Employers Can Take to Promote Workers’ Mental Health
Employers can promote awareness about the importance of mental health and stress management through a combination of workplace health programs, HR benefits, and employee education. Research has shown that these programs are successful, especially when they combine mental and physical health interventions with actual worksite activities. The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention [CDC] has a website devoted to helpful resources for employers. Here is a simple list of action steps employers can take:
- Provide managers with training to help them recognize the signs and symptoms of stress and depression in team members and encourage them to seek help from qualified mental health professionals.
- Give employees opportunities to participate in decisions about issues that affect job stress.
- Host seminars or workshops at the worksite that address depression and stress management techniques, like mindfulness, breathing exercises, and meditation, to help employees reduce anxiety and stress and improve focus and motivation.
- Create and maintain dedicated, quiet spaces for relaxation activities or incorporate de-stressing activities that all co-workers can participate in during the workday or workweek.
- Offer an Employee Assistance Plan, often referred to as an EAP. An EAP often includes wellness benefits like visiting a counselor, biometric health screening (sometimes with a reward for the employee), crisis help, legal assistance, etc. If you currently offer health insurance, you may already have an EAP or the ability to add it on at little cost. An EAP can be purchased separately from a life and health agent. See Cardinal if you need a referral..
- Once you have an EAP, promote the benefit. Encourage its use. Even if employees do not have it, they will appreciate the peace of mind knowing it is there.
- Distribute materials, such as brochures, flyers, and videos, to all employees about the signs and symptoms of poor mental health and opportunities for treatment.
- Make mental health self-assessment tools available to all employees.
CARDINAL SERVICES – YOUR HR WORKSITE RESOURCE
Cardinal’s HR Specialists can help you develop policies, programs, and procedures to promote employee mental health in the workplace. Give us a call 1.800.342.4742.