Mental Health Awareness Month and the Workplace

by James McDonough

Member Matters

Employees’ mental health issues (and those of their significant others) exact a very high cost on the workplace due to lost productivity, absenteeism, turnover, turnover, along with health care costs.  Employers are often uncertain as to how to manage these issues out of fear of breaking the law, discomfort or even impatience. May is Mental Health Awareness Month and a reminder that a pro-active approach assists employees and may improve business operations.  Offering benefits such as EAPs (Employee Assistance Plans) and health plans with mental health benefits provide a strong foundation; however, these are not enough. Surveys indicate employees may not seek help out of fear, lack of awareness or denial. Employers who do more to promote workplace mental wellness will likely enjoy better outcomes; these websites offer free resources to help manage this workplace challenge:

Mental Health America

Mental Health in the Workplace: Building a Business Case

Working Well: Leading a Mentally Healthy Business

Center for Workplace Mental Health

Members are encouraged to contact Employers Council for assistance with your unique situations at 800.884.1328.

About the author
James McDonough

James McDonough, HR Research Consultant, consults with Employers Council members to provide guidance and support on their organizational practices. He writes articles, conducts presentations and trainings on HR compliance, organizational effectiveness and business management topics. A graduate of the University of Colorado-Boulder, James has worked in the public and private sectors in HR and business management.