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Barry Mount

 Tags: Mental Health

Your employees are no doubt your company’s biggest assets. You rely on them to help you achieve your business goals, stay afloat, remain profitable, and grow. In exchange, your employees rely on you to create a happy and healthy work environment. They expect a workplace that is free of harassment and undue stress. They expect health insurance to help them improve their physical health. And increasingly, they expect workplace wellness programs that help improve employee mental health. Are you up to the task?

Download our free guide about group benefits and insurance.

Here’s how you can improve employee mental wellness at your organization.

1 Create a Positive Work Environment

The workplace can trigger poor mental health. Big workloads, tight deadlines, long hours, and management conflicts can all lead to stress, anxiety, and even depression and addiction.

To improve employee mental wellness, it’s important to create a healthy and positive work environment that employees will want to work in. This includes being proactive at eliminating discrimination, harassment, and bullying, offering management support, offering work-life balance, and creating a positive workplace culture.

When you create a great place to work, you’ll improve talent attraction and retention as well as boost productivity, while improving employee mental wellness. It’s a win-win.

2. Eliminate the Stigma

Even though mental health problems affect one in five people in Canada at any given time, and half of employees in the GTA alone, there is still a stigma that surrounds mental health. Employees do not want to disclose or talk about their struggles in fear of being judged or “punished” in some way. Because of the stigma, many won’t even admit their problems to themselves or know what to do or where to go for prevention or treatment.

To improve employee mental wellness, quash the stigma around mental health in your workplace. Create an open and honest environment where employees feel safe and comfortable asking for help. Creating communication campaigns about the risks and symptoms of mental health issues, advice, tips, and prevention and treatment options can get you one step closer to creating a culture of support and acceptance.

3. Enlist Community Resources             

Enlisting community resources on mental wellness is a cost-effective way to help your employees. Partner with community-based mental health organizations, healthcare professionals, local experts, and advocates to offer your employees comprehensive information and resources as well as treatment options should they need it.

4. Invest in Workplace Wellness Solutions

Workplace wellness solutions can go a long way to improving employee mental wellness at your organization.

Offer an employee assistance program (EAP) to help employees deal with work and personal issues through 24/7 direct and confidential access to counselling services.

Start exercise programs in the office. Exercise is linked to improved mental health and can help treat stress, depression, and anxiety. There are many cost-effective ways to get your employees more physically active, such as offering discounts to a local gym, encouraging group participations in fun runs, installing bike racks, offering workplace yoga sessions, or investing in under-the-desk pedal stations.

5. Offer Training

Set up mental health first-aid training programs for employee and managers to help your workforce recognize the signs of stress and other mental health programs, both in themselves as well as in those around them. These training sessions will not only help with prevention but will also help your employees know how to appropriately respond when others are experiencing mental health issues.

It pays to improve employee mental wellness in the workplace. In return for your efforts, your company will benefit from better employee attraction, a greater retention rate, and a better employer brand. In addition, you will get a great ROI from increased productivity and efficiency as well as reduced healthcare premium costs and fewer short-term disability claims. Improving employee mental wellness is good for employers and employees alike.

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Barry Mount

Barry has 33 years of insurance experience and has spent 27 years specializing in employee benefits. He has a CLU (Chartered Life Underwriter) designation and is a current and past member of Advisory Boards. When he’s not working, Barry is happiest sharing time with his spouse, children, and grandchildren, while fitting in many great times with friends. He loves to travel and finds great pleasure in the time he spends giving back to his community through his involvement with the Rotary Club of Whitby-Sunrise.
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