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Optimizing Mental Health Benefits for Employees

Today many employees are struggling with mental health. “Over 53 million people in the US live with a mental health issue”. Those same employees want their companies to provide benefits to meet their specific needs. Around 80% of employees agree mental health support from their employers is an important consideration when they look for future work. Most employees resort to using their PTO or sick leave to accommodate their bad mental health days. Last year there were a staggering “12 billion work days used for mental health costing over $1 trillion in lost productivity”. This loss can be combated by providing mental health counseling under the company's insurance plan. Currently, receiving mental health counseling can be associated with significant cost, but that's not always the case.

Knowing where to find your employees adequate care is important. Most employees do not know where to begin and their provider may not know where to refer them. This is where the company can step in and take on some of that burden. Letting your employees know their company provides them with mental health care is a big first step to helping your employees and in turn helping your business. Mental health is a must-have benefit, “US employers plan to make mental well-being programs and solutions one of their top 3 priorities over the next 3 years.”

Making mental health a priority causes a better employee perception of their company. Employers can also support and retain employees by providing benefits to those caring for aging relatives or children. By supporting “The Whole Person”, companies build resilience by Providing emotional support so members can take charge of their health and well-being. Companies can also impact the workplace with this movement by promoting a psychologically healthy workplace for all of your employees by supporting initiatives or establishing a collaborative environment with members, families, caregivers and providers. Health care is more than taking a sick day and should be viewed as caring for your employees well being. Mental health is more accessible than ever through face to face meetings, online therapists or community meetings to talk with other people who face the same difficulties. A few resources to utilize for your employees are:

  • Resources for Living, who offer an employee assistance program

  • Daylight, provides 24/7 anxiety/worry support over the phone

  • myStrength, deals with stress management and resilience

  • Sleepio, for sleep improvement

  • Talkspace, for employees to text, video chat or receive virtual counseling

  • Mindfulness, an app which catalogs resources and digital courses

Going beyond just offering mental health benefits is implementing them into your workspace by launching support groups and/or peer listening programs for employees to utilize. Another way to integrate mental health awareness is training management with the knowledge and skills to navigate mental health in the workplace and set the culture by sharing personal stories and visibly modeling healthy behaviors.

Mental health plays such an important role in today's workspace and it is only growing. By providing employees a healthy outlet, they will be happier at work, more focused on their job and could help save your company money from retention. We at B.Stephens HR would love to help implement a healthy, successful, work environment through providing your employees resources and opening up the floor for all employees to come forward with their struggles without being discriminated against.

B.Stephens HR Consulting

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