DOL Promotes Mental Health at Work Initiative
Amid Mental Health Awareness Month, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) launched its Mental Health at Work initiative to address mental health within the workplace and introduce resources for employees and employers alike. The DOL’s initiative aims to advance mental wellness in the workplace through the following strategies:
- Reduce the stigma of mental health in workplaces.
- Increase the awareness of mental health and well-being.
- Promote best practices and compliance for employers.
- Promote mental health equity and access for marginalized and vulnerable populations
The DOL explains that high-quality jobs provide safe workplaces, fair pay, paid leave, benefits, and opportunities for all team members to be heard— and that’s the baseline for employee mental health. Additionally, employers have an opportunity to support employees who require care for a mental health condition or substance use disorder (SUD).
Mental Health in America
A survey conducted by Mind Share Partners shed light on the current workplace landscape. Three-quarters (76%) of U.S. workers reported at least one symptom of a mental health condition, while 84% said workplace conditions contributed to at least one mental health challenge.
The American Psychology Association reported that 81% of workers will be looking for workplaces that support mental health in the future.
When employers treat mental health care just as other medical conditions, organizations can encourage a culture that supports the well-being needs of all workers. Addressing mental health concerns fosters a healthier and happier work environment, leading to benefits such as improved employee productivity, increased creativity, higher retention rates, and overall organizational success.
As Americans struggle with their mental health or live with mental illnesses, employers can have a positive impact by building supportive workplaces and offering support and resources. Furthermore, employers should consider mental health initiatives to recruit and retain talent. Employers can offer mental health support to employees in many ways, such as flexible work hours, remote work arrangements and health insurance coverage for mental health and SUD. Mental Health Awareness Month is a great time to kick off conversations about mental health in the workplace. The DOL’s Mental Health at Work resources can help employers keep the momentum and mental health support going year-round.