Employee Mental Health: Part I

Employee Mental Health: P…

Employee mental health has become an increasingly hot topic. Organizations are sometimes concerned about mental health problems being used by employees as a basis for seeking leave or avoiding certain responsibilities. (In Part II, we will examine options and strategies to address this issue.) Meanwhile, data suggests employees often hold sincere beliefs about their mental health status. For instance, according to survey results published by the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity (LEO), 76% of U.S. worker respondents reported at least one symptom of a mental health condition, and 84% of respondents indicated that workplace conditions had contributed to at least one mental health challenge.

While there is no silver bullet, employers should consider taking steps to help prioritize employee mental health, including the following:

  • Offer mental health resources: Counseling services, employee assistance programs, or workshops that offer coping mechanisms and stress management techniques may be valuable.
  • Promote consistency: Implement and enforce clear policies to promote consistency in the workplace. Helping employees to understand expectations may ease anxiety.
  • Encourage physical well-being: Promote physical health initiatives like wellness programs, gym memberships, or health-related goals. Studies show that regular physical activity can significantly improve mental well-being.
  • Check in regularly: Encourage managers to conduct periodic one-on-one check-ins with their team members to discuss workload, stressors, and general well-being.
  • Celebrate achievements: Acknowledge and celebrate accomplishments and milestones. Recognition boosts morale and reinforces positive behaviors.

Notably, the LEO publishes a monthly Mental Health in the Workplace webinar series featuring discussions about the importance of investing in mental health to build more resilient workplaces.

If you have questions, call us today at 248.477.6300.

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