Mental health is just as important as physical health. Yet, every day, millions of employees suffer with some form of mental challenges without getting the help they so desperately need. Lack of mental health care can lead to a variety of negative consequences; some of them even fatal. At least some of the responsibility for mental health lies on the shoulders of employers. It’s not hard to support employees’ mental health, but many employers don’t know the first place to start. Here are some ideas to support your employees’ mental health.
Offer Gym Membership Benefits
Studies have shown that physical exercise can help maintain or even improve mental health. Some employees aren’t able to afford their own gym membership because family needs have to come first. You can help support your employees’ mental health simply by offering free or subsidized gym memberships as part of the benefits package.
Opt For Mental Health Care Add-ons
If your company health care plan offers mental health care as an option, strongly consider paying for it. The nominal fee for mental health care add-ons will easily be covered by the benefits that your employees receive in the form of counseling. And don’t forget that benefits are tax-deductible, so adding on this small package benefit will cost even less than you might think.
Offer Mental Health Days
Mental health days are days where your employees are allowed to call in without having to give a faux sick excuse just to get some time off. They can use a mental health day to do anything they want with no repercussions. If you do decide to offer mental health days, be generous with them. Consider two mental health days a month for salaried employees, and at least one mental health day per month for hourly workers.
Have an Open Door Policy
Make sure your employees feel free to come in and speak privately with you any time they need to. This will encourage employees to ask for help in the event they’re facing challenges in their personal lives or at work that they’re finding tough to handle. With an open door policy, anything should be up for discussion, including things like illness diagnosis, marital problems, workplace bullying and more.
Host Mental Health Workshops
It’s a good idea to host mental health workshops in the workplace, too. You can find a mental health specialist to come in and do a paid, one-day workshop for your employees. This will help to educate all your employees about mental health issues and how to handle their own challenges. It will also help your employees to be more empathetic if a co-worker is exhibiting signs of depression, etc.
Have Company Outings
At least once a year, have a company outing in a park. Allow employees to bring partners, spouses and children. Make it a paid day of fun and camaraderie. Studies show that employees will feel better at work when they feel that they have close acquaintances or friends that they work with. Hosting a company outing makes it easier for employees to get to know each other and develop friendships.
These tips for helping employees with mental health can easily be implemented no matter what size your company is. If you would like help with putting some of these ideas into place, please feel free to contact us.