Employers have a duty to prevent and help remedy mental health crises amongst their employees. After all, employers’ actions dictate a huge amount of their staff members’ lives and may contribute to their mental health to a large degree. Recently, a general consensus has been reached by the public regarding the enormity of business’ responsibility for employee mental health. Here are five provisions that companies can make towards supporting the mental health of their employees.
Sometimes no amount of ‘fostering’ can prevent a crisis from happening. In instances where a crisis is unfolding or developing, staff training can prevent employees from being subjected to serious mental and physical trauma. Mental health first aid training should be given out as much as possible to all interested staff members. When you are delivering this training, make sure to listen to objections and suggestions from staff who have experienced difficulties in the staff. Plenty of institutional problems go unnoticed by companies even as they deliver training due to a lack of responsiveness to their own employees.
A company’s dedication to protecting mental health in the workplace must be reflected in the employee benefits that it provides. Being mentally unwell is incredibly expensive. Prescriptions for specialist drugs, therapy, and even hospitalization are insurmountably pricy for Americans. As might be expected, this can compound issues related to mental health conditions.
Responsible businesses should offer employees healthcare benefits that include coverage of mental health conditions – something that is still surprisingly rare. If a company wants to tackle mental health, then it should be willing to tackle the actual costs that poor health incur.
Provide a Good Environment
A toxic working environment can be seriously corrosive to employee mental health. Fostering a supportive environment free of unnecessary pressure can do wonders. Likewise, the physical space surrounding employees can have an impact. Access to fresh air, for instance, can have an effect on employee mental health as a whole.
Coming into the workplace is not always the best option for employees suffering from poor mental health. Workplaces should offer hybrid arrangements so that struggling staff members can complete their tasks without physically turning up. This should not be used as an excuse for employees to shunt work onto their employees while they are at home unwell.
The COVID-19 pandemic has made it abundantly clear that hybrid working arrangements are financially and interpersonally feasible. Workplaces should have no problem adapting hybrid models in order to foster good mental health.
Be Fair and Honest
Even employers professing to be caring when it comes to mental health have engaged in unfair practices surrounding employees that are on the verge of crisis. Keeping employees on zero-hours contracts, denying work, firing employees during hospital stays, and other rather inhumane practices are all aggravatingly common. If a company wants to be considered a mental health champion, it needs to walk the walk and talk the talk.