What is mental health?
Even though September was Suicide Awareness and Prevention Month, we feel strongly that we all need to be aware of our coworkers, family, and friends’ mental health challenges every month. We are providing these tips and resources to help navigate this very difficult health crisis.
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), our mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. Our mental well-being is just as important as our physical health.
We all have our good days and bad days depending on what may be going on in our lives. We are also aware that the pandemic has taken a toll on mental health for so many of us. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) released data indicating that an increasing number of discrimination charges contain claims that are based on mental health conditions. The EEOC data also confirms that many organizations are experiencing employee burnout.
If your organization chooses to ignore the fact that mental health issues affect engagement, productivity, and a host of other employment concerns, you are likely to find yourself with negative and actively disengaged employees.
How can you help?
This year, we’ve mentioned steps you can take to reduce employee stress and burnout. A few of those steps are:
- Provide and encourage your staff to use your Employee Assistance Plan (EAP). It’s a great benefit that is often overlooked and forgotten. Remind your staff it’s there for them.
- If you don’t currently have an EAP as an employee benefit, please consider implementing one. An EAP typically provides several key benefits that other benefits don’t. For example, financial planning, some limited legal advice, and counseling services.
- If you provide medical insurance to your employees, ensure there is coverage for mental health that is user-friendly.
- Don’t forget the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and discussing options for leaves of absence and accommodations. The Job Accommodation Network (JAN) is a helpful free resource.
- Provide some mental health days for ALL staff. Give and encourage staff to take them. Allow your employees to use some of their sick time, whether state-mandated or your own organization’s sick or paid time off (PTO) plan.
- Actively seek to engage and connect, frequently, with your staff. Empathy and listening are key.
- Reach out to us at HR Services. As a client, you have unlimited access to all our resources.
- Have some fun. Really! Work to incorporate laughter and fun into every day.
501 members and subscribers have unlimited access to HR Services. Contact us any time regarding mental health, sample policies and procedures, or any other HR challenge you may be facing.
The information contained in this article is not a substitute for legal advice or counsel and has been pulled from multiple sources.