Prioritizing Mental Health in the Workplace


Written by Angela Corbett, LCSW, CAP

In recent years, the conversation surrounding mental health has gained significant momentum, and rightfully so. As awareness grows, it’s becoming increasingly clear that mental well-being is just as important as physical health, especially in the workplace. Organizations that prioritize mental health not only benefit their employees but also experience improved productivity, higher morale, and decreased turnover rates. In this blog post, we’ll explore why supporting mental health in the workplace is crucial and provide actionable strategies for creating a supportive work environment.

The Importance of Mental Health Support in the Workplace

Mental health issues such as chronic stress, anxiety, and depression are common among employees, yet many employers don’t know how to address concerns regarding their employee’s mental health. Ignoring these issues can lead to decreased productivity, absenteeism, and poor overall performance. Stressed and overwhelmed employees are less likely to be productive and engaged in their work. 

Additionally, employees are more likely to stay with organizations that prioritize their well-being. Now, more than ever, job seekers actively seek out employers who offer supportive work environments. By investing in mental health initiatives, organizations can attract and retain top talent.

Strategies for Supporting Mental Health in the Workplace:

Here are some strategies that you can implement within your workplace! 

  1. Encourage open dialogue about mental health within your organization. By destigmatizing discussions around mental health, we can create a safe space for individuals to share their feelings, experiences, and struggles without fear of judgment, and build a more inclusive and supportive environment for everyone.
  2. Recognize that each employee has unique needs and challenges. Offering flexible work arrangements, such as remote work options or flexible hours, can help employees better manage their mental health by reducing stress related to commuting or balancing work and personal responsibilities.
  3. Encourage employees to prioritize self-care and set boundaries between work and personal life. Let it be known that sending work-related emails and answering calls outside of their working hours is not necessary. Urge employees to use their vacation time to recharge.
  4. Foster a culture where leaders prioritize their own mental health and encourage others to do the same. Managers should model appropriate work-life boundaries, take their own vacations, and actively manage their stress levels. 
  5. Lead with empathy and understanding. It’s not enough to talk the talk! As leaders we also need to walk the walk by showing up for and supporting our employees when they face mental health challenges. We can do this by providing guidance and resources to an employee who is struggling, using nonjudgmental language when talking about mental health, and treating mental health concerns with the same kindness and accommodation that we would treat someone experiencing a physical illness or condition. 

Supporting mental health in the workplace is not only the right thing to do, but it’s also essential for the success and sustainability of any organization. By prioritizing mental well-being, employers can create a positive work environment where employees feel valued, supported, and empowered to thrive. Let’s commit to fostering a culture of mental health awareness and support in our workplaces, because when we take care of our employees’ mental health, everyone benefits.