Making Mental Health a Priority at the Office

Over 300 million people suffer from depression around the world, making mental health one of the most important but least discussed workplace topics. Depression is also a leading cause of disability and can have a negative impact on your employees’ morale and productivity. To keep workers happy and healthy, employers need to understand how company policies and procedures can have a direct impact on their health. Here are some factors that can pose a threat to your employees’ emotional well-being :

  1. Ineffective health and safety policies
  2. Poor communication and management practices
  3. Limited input on key workplace changes
  4. Limited employee support
  5. Inflexible working hours
  6. Unclear tasks or organizational objectives

Create a positive environment for your employees. Here are some activities that employers can try:

  • Invite local, qualified mental health experts to speak at your workplace to cover topics like nutrition, fitness and managing stress.
  • Sponsor employees and allow them to take part in things like charity events and fitness campaigns.
  • Encourage employees to form a wellness committee.

More than 1 in 5 Americans have diagnosable mental disorders at some point in their lives, yet only about half of those individuals receive professional mental health treatment. One major determinant of an individual’s access to mental health care is whether he or she has health insurance that includes mental health benefits. Now, under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), non-grandfathered health plans in the individual and small group markets are required to cover mental and behavioral health treatments as one of the 10 essential health benefits. Most fully insured group health plans sponsored by small employers (typically, employers with up to 50 employees) include coverage for mental health benefits.

There may be situations where your business isn’t equipped to address serious mental health concerns. In these instances, it’s important to seek the help of licensed mental health professionals. For more help addressing mental health in your business, contact us at 716-688-8888.