Mental health: Let's talk about it
Support a well-being culture at your workplace by encouraging use of mental health resources.
posted February 01, 2020
One way to erase the stigma around mental health in the workplace is by talking about it.
A new video from SAIF shows one way employers can help overcome the mental health stigma and encourage workers to access help when they need it.
"If employers take steps to foster an environment where mental well-being issues and resources are discussed openly and regularly, workers will feel more comfortable accessing help. The results will also be good for your business because of lower health care costs, improved productivity, less absenteeism, and less turnover," said Liz Hill, Total Worker Health adviser for SAIF.
Only one in three people who need mental health help get it, according to the American Psychiatric Association and the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). Similarly, free employee assistance programs offered by employers have only a 3-5% rate of use nationally. Reasons vary but include stigmatization, fear of losing their job, or simply lack of access to resources. Whatever the reason, mental health experts say the consequences are worse when people stay silent.
There are a lot of ways to support a culture of well-being, but an easy place to start is bringing up mental health. Supervisors can support employees by sharing resources available through benefit programs and the community.
"Maybe it's at your next team meeting, or on a walk with a co-worker, but the important thing is to make sure people feel like they can talk about it," Hill says.
For more ideas on creating a healthy workplace for mental well-being, visit saif.com/wellbeing.