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June 3, 2022 David Malmborg

Keeping the Conversation on Mental Health Going Year-Round

SESSION #11 OF THE MENTAL HEALTH AWARENESS MONTH LIVE STREAM SERIES: KEY CONVERSATIONS ON MENTAL HEALTH

Even though Mental Health Awareness Month is over, individuals and companies can still keep mental health top of mind. This article shares three key ways to do just that on a budget.

This blog post is inspired by the final Key Conversation on Mental Health live stream for the month of May 2022. You can check out the entire conversation below.

With about 1 in 5  adults experiencing a diagnosable mental health condition, only 50% will seek help.

Why? Attitudinal barriers, like the stigma around mental health, are mainly to blame.

There are many ways to support employee mental health, from encouraging caregivers to practice self-care, offering more PTO, and focusing more on building team community.

Here are three simple ways your company can continue the mental health conversation on a budget.

3 Ways to Continue the Mental Health Conversation in Your Workplace

1. Lead the Way as a Manager

When managers are open with their direct reports about their own mental health, employees will feel more comfortable speaking up.

Managers need to be taught how to have these conversations and what to say and what not to say. For example, it is critical for managers to validate employees’ feelings but not to solve their problems for them. People want to be validated and understood. They want empathy.

When managers are equipped with the tools to have mental health conversations, they are less likely to shut the conversations down or pass the employee on to HR or the company EAP.

Conversations on mental health cannot stop at the manager if the company wants to build a culture that breaks down mental health stigmas.

The Manager Training Handbook is a great resource to share with your managers and use as a training guide. You can access it here.

2. Have Executives Lead with Empathy

The executive team needs to lead with empathy if they want to carry the spirit of Mental Health Awareness Month with them throughout the year.

Haeli Harris, Lead Clinician of Nivati and licensed counselor, explains the importance of leadership starting the mental health conversation: “I think it’s important that when anyone goes into an executive role or managerial role that they know they know that this part [talking about mental health] is also part of the job. The company… the work piece… there’s also this people piece, where you have to have empathy and care about the people on your team as well.”

“A big part [of empathy] that a lot of people struggle with is putting yourself in that person’s shoes and really trying to understand that their struggles are real and that their struggles are valid. Even though it might not be what you struggle with, and it might sound super easy… but to this person, this is a real struggle, and we need to validate that for them.”

3. Educate Employees On Mental Health Resources

Employees may not know about the mental health benefits your company offers. It’s the leadership team’s job to educate employees on these resources and any other free resources that the local community may provide. The National Suicide Prevention Hotline is a great one to share.

Here are some ways companies can educate employees on mental health:

For more on talking about mental health at work, check out these articles:

Follow us on Linkedin to stay in the loop on future Linkedin Live events.

 

Learn About the Power of Self-Care

Download the Mental Health Tool Kit to learn about mental health in the workplace – what it is, why it matters, and how you can start supporting employee mental health!

 

Disclaimer

By participating in/reading the service/website/blog/email series on this website, you acknowledge that this is a personal website/blog and is for informational purposes and should not be seen as mental health care advice. You should consult with a licensed professional before you rely on this website/blog’s information. All things written on this website should not be seen as therapy treatment and should not take the place of therapy or any other health care or mental health advice. Always seek the advice of a mental health care professional or physician. The content on this blog is not meant to and does not substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.

MENTAL HEALTH FOR THE WHOLE EMPLOYEE