You hear it everywhere: “Focus on your mental health.” The mantra that has been on everyone’s radar for the past few years should be easy to tackle, right? Wrong. Mental health is a broad term that signifies different things to different people. In this article, we’ll discuss the meaning of mental health and a few of the ways your organization can provide support.
Before we get started, let’s understand what constitutes mental health. Whereas mental illnesses are clinical, diagnosable disorders like depression and eating disorders, mental health and mental well-being are used interchangeably and refer to a person’s ability to stay fit, physically and mentally, in the face of stress and pursue practices—exercise, good sleep habits, meditation—that promote personal welfare.
To build an inclusive wellness program with solid mental health and wellbeing resources, consider implementing these strategies:
- Subsidize an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) for associates to join at no cost. There are different platforms available with a variety of offerings. The benefit of choosing a package with a per-employee cost, such as LifeWorks, is that it allows you to provide everyone at your organization (even those not on your insurance plan) with options for counseling and support.
- Offer easy access to educational resources in different formats. Not everyone processes information in the same way, but it’s easy to cater to individual needs through online resources, physical copies of journal or magazines, and links to podcasts. At MJH Life Sciences, we distribute a monthly journal that includes links to resources, articles by staff members, and mindfulness prompts, including habit-tracking, coloring, and recipes.
- Offer fitness classes. A healthy mind starts with a healthy body. Consider bringing in a coach or hosting virtual workouts like HIIT, Pilates, yoga or meditation.
- Host educational seminars. The possibilities are endless, and most offer a virtual option! Get creative: in addition to typical educational courses you can host art or music therapy, nutrition or cooking classes, sessions on coping with stress and burnout or tips for improving environmental wellness.
- Invest in training and provide a safe space for employees to discuss their mental health with managers or with Human Resources. Consider mental health first aid training, such as those offered by the National Council for Mental Wellbeing, to people who may be critical in identifying, understanding and responding to mental health and substance abuse issues for employees. Those with access to LinkedIn Learning can benefit from a variety of resources on topics related to mental well-being.
By focusing on one of more of these tactics, employees will feel more engaged and able to tackle stress and the challenges that inevitably arise.