How to Help Support Your Employees’ Mental Health

“It’s okay to call in sick. It’s also okay to call in sad.”

May is Mental Health Awareness month. If you want your employees to be healthy, it’s important to remember that mental health is a part of their overall well-being. Mental health includes emotional, psychological, and social well-being —meaning it impacts multiple areas of life. It also affects how individuals feel, think, act, and relate to others.

Perhaps you feel that you don’t have time to deal with your employees’ mental health concerns. You may think that it’s not the employers’ responsibility. Current research indicates otherwise. A recent survey found that 65% of employees feel mental health issues have affected their ability to work, resulting in lost productivity. As this topic continues to be an area of concern, more employees are looking to their employers for assistance with mental health. Yet, the survey also found that 40% of employees don’t believe their employer cares about their mental health beyond their ability to be productive. Another survey indicates there is continued opportunity for employers to support workforce mental health by taking five actions: make mental wellness a priority, enhance available mental health support, communicate available mental health support, create an inclusive work culture, and measure and meet the need. Doing so will not only help your employees begin to thrive, it can also help boost morale and employee loyalty.

This article offers five initiatives that managers and companies can take to support their people today and in a post-pandemic future. Leaders/managers must encourage as well as model self-care. When managers take time off to rejuvenate, it normalizes the struggle that everyone goes through and sends the message to employees that it is okay to take time for self-care. Another article suggests that, during these exceptionally stressful times, it is essential to keep lines of communication open and regularly point out to employees the resources they have available to them. Remind them we are indeed all in this together. The author offers some ideas for HR professionals to help employees cope onsite or working from home.