The world is becoming more aware of the importance and prevalence of issues with mental health, but that alone does not mean mental health struggles have decreased.

The rates of suicide and the cost of anxiety and depression within the health care system have increased throughout the decade. Over 200 million workdays are lost due to mental health conditions each year. That’s $16.8 billion in employee productivity.

Chipotle Mexican Grill announced recently that it will be providing access to mental healthcare and financial wellness for more than 80,000 employees in 2020. It has become more and more common for company’s health insurance plans to have mental health included. 

 

But what if that’s not enough?

The World Economic Forum found that only 60% of those who need help seek help. Some company leaders may think that they can provide no solutions to that issue, but company culture goes a long way in promoting acceptance and awareness. 

Mind Share Partners, SAP, and Qualtrics did a study on the prevalence of mental health challenges and stigma in U.S. workplaces. Less than 50% of the participants felt that mental health was a priority at their company. Even fewer viewed their company leaders as advocates.

Just as many companies have cultivated their culture to help employees become more active and eat better, companies are finding ways to successfully and cost-efficiently promote better brain health in the workplace. 

 

So what are some ways you can help the company culture around mental health?

  • Relatively simple and inexpensive measures such as building peer support networks with colleagues and starting a dialogue among managers that encourages healthy behavior.
  • Teach employees skills to better manage emotional health, including resilience training, mindfulness and stress management.
  • Simple efforts to replace negative stigma with positive affirmation can significantly improve a workplace environment and employee health. Companies that have done anonymous surveys say that theiry employees discover that their coworkers are going through similar experiences.