How to Advocate for Employee Mental Health

Employee mental health is not only a matter of ethical consideration. It is also a significant factor in workplace productivity. According to the CDC, depression alone can interfere with the completion of physical job tasks 20% of the time. They also reduce cognitive performance 35% of the time. 

However, workers’ compensation benefits often do not extend to mental health issues. It can be arduous to furnish proof of the non-physical injury and lead to rejection of the claim. The absence of this resource can make it potentially expensive for employees who miss work and cannot file claims. Moreover, missed work or on-the-job productivity losses can also cost employers.

Start a Conversation

Establishing that you care about mental wellness in the workplace starts by having a dialogue. This must be a sincere rather than a symbolic gesture. Ideally, this conversation starter should take many forms in medium and content. 

Use any communication channels to ensure employees know the resources they may leverage. Furthermore, they should know how to access these resources from onboarding. 

Of course, this outreach should happen confidently and compassionately.

Take Advantage of Human Resources

The goal of human resources is to find, retain, advocate for, and maximize the value of human capital in the workplace. Therefore, HR should guide the promotion of mental wellness in the workplace. They often handle mental health advocacy according to ethical duties, relevant employment laws, and other considerations. 

Furthermore, HR should already help employees understand their rights and resources. Those rights and resources range from legal parameters like civil rights and discrimination. They also extend to private, elective considerations, such as community resources. A comprehensive advocacy plan can maximize the value of this pool of resources and knowledge. 

Provide Mental Health Resources

As mentioned, employers can promote employees’ mental health by providing listings of resources. Additionally, you can provide free access to informational resources. It is also worth having relevant seminars and self-assessment tools in quiet spaces within the office.

Check-In With Employees 

It is also essential to check in with employees regularly regarding mental health. This process should happen by regularly reminding and updating employees and meeting with them privately. 

Additionally, employers should be aware of the signs that someone is struggling with their mental health. Then, they can gently direct them toward helpful resources. 

Encourage Work-Life Balance

Poor work-life balance can be a common source of stress for employees. Therefore, employers should promote and facilitate a healthy work-life balance. In addition to promoting work-life balance, it is also helpful to provide appropriate benefits. 

Make Reasonable Accommodations

Reasonable accommodations are not only helpful for employees. They can also be a matter of legal necessity. ADA regulations mandate reasonable accommodations for employees with disabilities. 

These accommodations should allow employees to do their work without additional inconvenience. For example, an employee with a visual impairment in an office should have access to text-to-speech software. 

You may feel uncertain about whether a condition falls under the ADA. If so, the HR department should solicit legal resources or direct employees to healthcare. 

Address Mental Health Deterrents 

You should anticipate the potential causes of poor mental well-being in the workplace as much as possible. Again, reasonable work hours and benefits are one way to accomplish this mission. 

Employers should constantly look for opportunities to improve the work environment. This process may mean changing workflow, adjusting negative management techniques, or providing additional benefits. 

What is needed will, to a degree, be unique to your company and its employees. Therefore, pursuing a positive workplace should be an ongoing pursuit that develops in collaboration with employees. 

Work With An Experienced Local Lawyer

Submit a request online or call us today at (866) 345-6784 to get in touch with an experienced lawyer in your area!

Return to the Blog

How It All Works

Call us or answer the questions on this site. Your category, location, and additional information will help us connect you to a legal professional and we’ll send you the results instantly.

Which Areas of Law?

We have attorneys in over 20 legal categories to choose from.

How Much Does This Cost?

We don’t charge you to be connected. Some legal categories require upfront fees while others do not. The legal professional will determine this with you before you commit to anything.