3 Ways to Promote Mental Health at Work

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Optimists look for the good in a bad situation, a positive result from a negative experience, or the rainbow after the storm. An optimistic outlook is necessary to fight the human tendency to focus on the negative. The pandemic gave us so much negativity, loss, fear, and uncertainty. With so much tragedy, looking for the silver lining is challenging, to say the least. With that said, there are some positives that came out of the pandemic, and arguably one of the most important was the call for real-talk about mental health and well-being at work. 


Nearly every workplace has a stress management or well-being program available. Now employees expect more than a paycheck from their workplaces; they want workplaces that support their mental health and the pursuit of wholeness. In fact, 81% of workers reported that, in the future, they would look for workplaces that support mental health [APA].


Creating work environments which promote and support mental health is crucial to employee engagement, productivity, creativity, and innovation. However, 84% said their workplace conditions had contributed to at least one mental health challenge. Prioritizing mental health in the workplace is crucial for your team to flourish in all aspects of their lives. And it’s pretty good for business, too-a study found that organizations who invest in mental health reduce absenteeism and presenteeism and increase job performance. Here are three ways to promote mental health at work:


1. Empower Employees


Provide your employees with information about mental health, well-being, and burnout. Offer training sessions, seminars, and workshops that help address and give actionable tools to manage stress, self-care, and mental health. The University of California, Riverside, found that each dollar spent on wellness programs saved $3.27 in healthcare costs and $2.73 in absenteeism costs. Organizations should also provide access to counseling and ensure employees know these services are available. 


2. Foster Supportive Workplace Cultures


Create a work culture that supports open communication, empathy, and respect. Sadly, 49% of workers are concerned that bringing up mental health at work could lead to blowback — and even job loss [Modern Health]. Encourage your employees to share not only the highs but also the lows. Everyone struggles from time to time, so create a space with psychological safety built in so that people can be open and talk freely about what is really going on in their work and life. Leaders can foster supportive workplace cultures by actively listening, being open and transparent in all communications, reframing mistakes as growth opportunities, and leaning into empathy and kindness in all things. 


3. Prioritize Self-Care 


Bare minimal Mondays are just the latest workplace trend to hit TicTok. It promotes easing into the week by prioritizing self-care over productivity. Mental health is one of the most significant factors in how we show up at work and in our lives. If we are struggling, it’s impossible to come to work ready to knock out deadlines. However, if we’re given the time to process, reflect, and for self-care, we can show up fully engaged and ready to take on the day. So instead of bare minimal Mondays, we encourage Mental Mondays. Take one day a week to tweak one thing differently that will nurture you and put yourself first. This may be a morning walk, a meditation break during the day, or enjoying a cup of tea in the park. By encouraging your team to practice self-care or Mental Mondays, they will be able to understand what meaningful change can look like, and they'll be able to show up authentically whole and happy on Mondays and every day.    


We’ve come a long way in addressing and reducing the stigma around mental health since the onset of the pandemic. It is more important than ever that organizations intentionally create environments where employees feel safe and supported in discussing their mental health concerns. Promoting mental health awareness will create healthier, happier, and more human workplaces where employees feel valued, appreciated, heard, and empowered. 



About the Author

Amanda Marksmeier

Amanda is the Growth Content Driver at DH. She has been writing and creating engaging content for nearly five years. She loves to use words to inspire and connect with people. Amanda thrives on helping and serving others through the power of the written word. She is always on the search for new and inventive ways to reach and educate others.


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