Each year millions of Americans face the reality of living with a mental illness. During May, the National Association of Mental Illness (NAMI) raises awareness of mental health. NAMI works to fight stigma, provide support, educate the public, and advocate for policies that support mental health in the workplace, people with mental illness, and their families.

Mental health can have a serious impact on a business. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 80% of adults with depression reported at least some difficulty with work because of their depression symptoms.

Unfortunately, disorders like anxiety and depression often go undetected for months or years. Unlike physical illnesses, mental health issues are more challenging to pinpoint.

Even though mental health can often be a taboo topic, especially in the workplace, according to a survey of office workers in July 2018, 72% of employees want their employer to champion mental health and well-being. This is the case for all generations, who prioritize mental health and well-being above all other causes (including equality, sustainability and diversity) – Gen Z (76%), Millennials (73%), Gen X (75%), and Baby Boomers (56%).

How can employers improve mental health in the workplace?

  • Talk about EAP benefits
  • Encourage open communication
  • Promote work/life balance
  • Support employees’ efforts to get help
  • Implement an employee wellness program

What ideas do you have to support mental health in the workplace?