Mental Health Resources for Employers
The pandemic has created a heightened awareness of mental health in the workplace. Businesses require the foundation to lead, motivate and retain their team through COVID-19 and beyond; and, being intentional about the mental health needs of their employees is essential.
Be sure to attend the Webinar “Key Human Resource Topics in the Era of COVID-19 & Beyond” June 17, 2021 at 2:00 PM EST. Register Here.
- Understanding Mental Health impact in the workplace
EMPLOYEES – underlying mental health issues of employees can resurface due to the stresses of the Pandemic. Also generalized anxiety/stress over fear of contracting the virus; added stress of staffing crisis, customer complaints, lack of resources, technology issues, etc. all can play a part in the mental health of employees.
MANAGERS – Managers also may experience the added stress of managing to new policies, uncertainty of how to manage COVID situations, staffing crisis, customer issues, etc.
Mental illnesses are among the most common health conditions in the United States. More than 50% of people will be diagnosed with a mental illness or disorder at some point in their lifetime. Providing resources to employees and managers to practice self-awareness and self-care, seeking out help from others or outside sources, bringing awareness to mental health issues and sharing mental health resources are all helpful to supporting mental health issues that may impact the workplace.
TRIGGERS – help employees to identify what are some triggers. For some it may be interacting with customers in masks due to a previous robbery experience; etc. Provide options for coping through the triggers. Avoid engaging in stressful chit chat regarding politics or the virus which will stir emotions.
PERMISSION TO CONFRONT ISSUES – in training, empower employees to address safety concerns head on. Such as reminding people to mask up, stay distant, wash hands, etc.
As it relates to COVID-19, being afraid – but not a diagnosed mental illness such as anxiety or depression – is not a suitable reason to refuse work according to the Michigan unemployment guidelines (each state unemployment agency has their own standards).
- Resources for supporting Mental Health in the workplace
Consider pulling free resources from these sources and sharing them with your team in email communications, newsletter, bulletin boards and the like:
- Assistance Resource Network on Disability Inclusion: https://askearn.org/mentalhealth/
- 4 Pillars of a Mental Health Friendly Workplace: Awareness, Accommodation, Assistance, Access
- Training for Mental Health First Aide: https://www.mentalhealthfirstaid.org/
- CDC resources: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/managing-stress-anxiety.html
- National Institute for Mental Health:
- Employee Assistance Program
- Training & Education for employees
- Creating a concern/complaint process
- Regular communication and follow up
- Communication & Motivation
Providing ongoing communication regarding these issues will assist in being transparent, building trust, providing reassurance and encouraging employees to be motivated at work. Employers should communicate regularly on these topics and more:
- Workplace safety measures and reassurance on COVID-19 protocols
- What’s expected of employees in the workplace
- Seek input from employees on what they need, what is working and what is not working
- Mental Health resources & awareness
- Business adjustments regarding how things are changing or new things being implemented
- Gather and respond to FAQs from employees
- Praise and appreciate. Now more than ever, employees need to hear from others that they are valued, appreciated and celebrated for working through this challenging time.
- Understand the legal implications for Mental Health impact of COVID-19
It’s important to know that the legal aspects of mental health and the pandemic are intertwined and do impact the workplace. Such as encouraging employees not to discuss an employee’s COVID situation or mental health issues. Below are just a few of the employment regulations that will interplay during the pandemic:
- Workers Compensation
- State-specific paid medical leave laws and persons with disabilities laws
These mental health resources for employers will assist in shaping the foundation of your organization to be an employer of choice with a culture where people thrive.
Be sure to attend the Webinar “Key Human Resource Topics in the Era of COVID-19 & Beyond” June 17, 2021 at 2:00 PM EST. Register Here to learn more ways to implement emerging essentials in your human resource management.