How Are Workplaces Approaching Mental Health Support?

How Are Workplaces Approaching Mental Health Support?

Exploring innovative strategies for mental health support in the workplace, we’ve gathered insights from founders, CEOs, and other leaders. From integrating mental health into daily work to allowing anonymous mental health days, discover seventeen unique approaches that can transform well-being at work.

  • Integrate Mental Health Into Work
  • Implement Flexible Work Hours
  • Create a Mental Health Menu
  • Incorporate Mindfulness Meditation
  • Promote Open Communication
  • Establish a Mindfulness Zone
  • Offer Mental Health Days
  • Encourage Artistic Expression
  • Combine Pet Therapy and Shorter Workweek
  • Cultivate a Supportive Peer Network
  • Organize Mental Health Workshops
  • Create a Wellness Program
  • Conduct Regular Mental Health Check-Ups
  • Encourage Physical Health for Mental Wellness
  • Utilize Biophilic Office Design
  • Host Mental Health Awareness Events
  • Allow Anonymous Mental Health Days

Integrate Mental Health Into Work

The pandemic has intensified workaholism, leading to unprecedented levels of employee burnout. While compensating employees well and ensuring they have adequate time off is fundamental, we believe in going a step further by integrating mental health support directly into the fabric of the workplace.

We recommend a holistic approach, promoting extended or more frequent breaks specifically designed to refresh and rejuvenate the mind. More innovatively, we advocate for dedicated time during the workday for employees to attend therapy appointments. This not only normalizes mental health care but also signals to employees that their well-being is a priority, fostering less of an “antiwork” culture and shifting toward one of support and communication.

Jabe BrownJabe Brown
Founder, Melbourne Functional Medicine

Implement Flexible Work Hours

Mental health support in the workplace can be approached by implementing a flexible work-hours system. This means that employees are given the freedom to choose their working hours, as long as they complete their required tasks and meet deadlines.

By allowing flexibility in work schedules, employees can better manage their mental health needs, such as attending therapy sessions or taking breaks when needed. This approach also promotes work-life balance, reducing stress and burnout among employees.

Justin TurnerJustin Turner
Founder & CEO, Turner Home Team

Create a Mental Health Menu

A unique approach I’ve embraced for mental health support at work involves creating a Mental Health Menu—a tailored list of options employees can choose from to support their well-being.

This menu includes unconventional offerings like Meeting-Free Mondays, access to a meditation app, outdoor walking meetings, and a ‘mental health day’ bank, separate from regular PTO. Encouraging employees to select what genuinely supports them acknowledges individual needs and promotes a culture where mental health is a priority, not an afterthought.

Bennett HeynBennett Heyn
CEO, Sell House Columbus Ohio

Incorporate Mindfulness Meditation

Mindfulness meditation is a unique approach to mental health support in the workplace. This practice involves focusing on the present moment and accepting thoughts and feelings without judgment.

By incorporating mindfulness techniques into the workday, employees can learn to manage stress and reduce anxiety levels. Some examples of mindfulness techniques include deep-breathing exercises, body scans, and guided meditations. Employers can provide resources and training on mindfulness techniques to help their employees cope with workplace stress in a healthy way.

By promoting a culture of mindfulness, employers can create a more supportive and mentally healthy work environment for their employees.

Krixelle SantKrixelle Sant
Founder & CEO, Sell My House Fast For Cash

Promote Open Communication

Fostering open communication between employees and employers presents a distinctive strategy for promoting mental health support in the workplace. Many employees may feel hesitant to discuss their mental health struggles for fear of being stigmatized or judged.

However, by creating a safe and supportive environment for open communication, employees can feel more comfortable discussing any challenges they may be facing. This can lead to early identification and intervention of mental health issues, preventing them from escalating into larger problems. Employers can also provide resources and support for employees to access professional mental health services if needed.

Brian HemmerleBrian Hemmerle
Founder & CEO, Kentucky Sell Now

Establish a Mindfulness Zone

A unique approach we’ve implemented for mental health support in the workplace is the creation of a Mindfulness Zone—a dedicated space filled with calming elements such as soft lighting, comfortable seating, and a selection of incense and crystals known for their stress-reducing properties, like amethyst and lavender incense.

Employees are encouraged to use this area to meditate, reflect, or simply take a moment to breathe during stressful days. This initiative not only provides a physical space for mental health breaks but also signals our commitment to employee well-being.

By integrating mindfulness practices and the calming influence of crystals and incense, we’ve seen a noticeable improvement in overall workplace morale and a decrease in stress-related complaints. This approach fosters a supportive environment where mental health is prioritized and cared for.

Daniel BunnDaniel Bunn
Director, Incensen

Offer Mental Health Days

Implement Mental Health Days: specific days off that employees can use for mental health rest, separate from traditional sick leave or vacation days. This acknowledges that mental health is equally important as physical health.

Kelli AndersonKelli Anderson
Career Coach, Texas General Insurance

Encourage Artistic Expression

I love any sort of initiative that increases personal creativity, as this can really help with contributing to self-care at work. Self-care and maintaining your well-being shouldn’t be something that only happens at home, as this doesn’t encourage a healthy work-life balance.

I think it’s important to encourage artistic expression as a means of self-care. Initiatives such as art workshops, creative writing sessions, or even designated spaces for employees to showcase their creative work can provide an outlet for emotional expression and stress relief.

It can even help to arrange for art therapy workshops facilitated by trained professionals. Art therapy has proven benefits for mental health, allowing individuals to express and process emotions through creative activities. Also, organizing art and wellness challenges that encourage employees to set personal creative goals can be beneficial. Whether it’s completing a certain number of art pieces or exploring a new artistic skill, these challenges promote continuous self-expression and growth.

Kieran HarrisKieran Harris
Managing Director, Senior Stairlifts

Combine Pet Therapy and Shorter Workweek

In our efforts to support mental health in the workplace, we’ve implemented a novel strategy, which combines on-campus pet therapy with a four-day workweek. This unique approach is grounded in research that demonstrates the stress-reducing benefits of interacting with domesticated animals, as well as the positive effects of a shorter workweek on employee well-being.

By integrating pets into our workplace environment and transitioning to a four-day workweek, we provide employees with multiple avenues for promoting their mental health. The presence of pets offers a source of comfort and companionship, allowing employees to take short breaks throughout the day to engage in activities that promote relaxation and stress relief.

Additionally, the transition to a four-day workweek provides employees with more time to rest, recharge, and engage in activities outside of work, further enhancing their overall well-being. This combined approach not only addresses the immediate need for stress reduction but also fosters a culture of work-life balance and employee satisfaction.

Phil McparlanePhil Mcparlane
Founder & CEO, 4DayWeekJobs

Cultivate a Supportive Peer Network

A culture of shared accountability can help boost mental health in the workplace. At Redfish Technology, I’ve been careful to cultivate policies that encourage speaking up if you see someone is struggling.

It’s not about snitching or going straight to HR—a peer-to-peer network of support can look like many different things, including a buddy system or just a Slack channel dedicated to zero work talk.

The important thing to convey is that we’re a family, and like a family, we look out for one another. It may sound cheesy, but I wouldn’t want it any other way.

The result has been an office where workers reach out when they’re feeling down or stressed, and never feel bad asking for help.

Rob ReevesRob Reeves
CEO and President, Redfish Technology

Organize Mental Health Workshops

One unique approach to mental health support in the workplace is to offer mental health days as part of the company’s leave policy. Unlike traditional sick days, mental health days specifically allow employees to take time off to prioritize their mental well-being without the need to provide a detailed explanation or medical certification. This acknowledges that mental health is just as important as physical health and encourages employees to prioritize self-care when needed.

Additionally, employers can organize regular mental health workshops or seminars, covering topics such as stress management, mindfulness techniques, and resilience-building. These workshops provide employees with practical tools and strategies to enhance their mental well-being and cope with workplace stressors more effectively.

Jeremy PasternakJeremy Pasternak
Founding Attorney, The Law Offices of Jeremy Pasternak

Create a Wellness Program

We believe in the importance of mental health in the workplace just as much as in the quality of our products. One of the first things we did was create a wellness program specifically designed for our employees.

Working in the beauty industry can be challenging, so we have incorporated mindfulness sessions, yoga sessions, and regular wellness check-ins into our work culture.

We also provide flexible working options to help you manage your commitments and stress levels. This could involve changing your work schedule, working from home when possible, or taking more time to care for yourself.

In addition, we have created an internal support network where employees can openly discuss their difficulties and ask for advice from colleagues or leadership without fear of repercussions. We also offer professional counseling services for those who require more in-depth assistance.

By creating an environment of mutual support and understanding, we strive to improve our employees’ overall health and well-being. Ultimately, a healthy and happy workforce is the foundation of our company’s long-term success.

Priyanka SwamyPriyanka Swamy
CEO, Perfect Locks

Conduct Regular Mental Health Check-Ups

One unique approach to mental health support in the workplace that I’ve seen has been very effective in informing all employees about mental health awareness and support is to encourage managers and leaders in the company to be conscious of their employees’ mentalities and to perform mental health check-ups.

If managers and workplace leaders of all kinds are able to implement some form of mental health check-up for all employees, then employee mindset and performance are sure to improve drastically. There are many ways of implementing these mental health check-ups, and they should be scheduled at least once a month. If your company has one-on-one meetings between employees and managers, managers should be encouraged to ask how the employee has been feeling and if there have been any issues in the workplace that have affected their mental health or work performance.

During all, if not most, team meetings, there should be at least one mention and reminder of the mental health resources that are available to the employees, and encouragement should be given to talk with managers if there are any mental health issues going on during the workday.

Chris HunterChris Hunter
Director of Customer Relations, ServiceTitan

Encourage Physical Health for Mental Wellness

I think a good way to help with mental health at work is to focus on physical health. As a health expert and fitness enthusiast, I can say that how you feel physically really affects your mental health.

For employers, it’s a good idea to encourage physical activity and offer things like gym memberships or exercise classes. This can really help with mental well-being. Also, providing healthy snacks and encouraging good eating habits can boost employees’ moods and energy levels.

Renato FernandesRenato Fernandes
Clinical Nutritionist, Saude Pulso

Utilize Biophilic Office Design

Drawing from decades of expertise in office furniture and commercial workplace design, I advocate for integrating elements of biophilic design into office spaces as a unique approach to mental health support.

Incorporating natural elements such as plants, natural light, and organic materials into the office environment can have a profound impact on employee well-being. Strategically placing greenery, incorporating biophilic patterns into furniture design, and optimizing access to natural light not only enhance the aesthetic appeal of the workspace but also promote stress reduction, increased productivity, and overall mental well-being.

Providing ergonomic furniture that supports proper posture and comfort contributes to physical health and reduces the risk of musculoskeletal issues, further supporting employees’ mental health. By leveraging biophilic principles in office design and furniture selection, I believe businesses can create a nurturing and supportive environment that prioritizes employee mental health and well-being.

Michael A. MonetteMichael A. Monette
Founder, Office Furniture Plus

Host Mental Health Awareness Events

One unique approach that I have seen implemented is peer support and workshops that are solely focused on mental health. Ambassadors would advocate for this effort and spearhead different events.

These events would promote awareness of different mental health campaigns and give advice on how to deal with various types of mental health issues. It’s a great way to destigmatize these issues in the workplace and allow people to normalize and prioritize mental health. This, along with companies allowing mental health days, creates an environment where people feel safe and comfortable expressing their mental health concerns.

Saneem AhearnSaneem Ahearn
VP of Marketing, Colorescience

Allow Anonymous Mental Health Days

Employees can anonymously request a paid day off specifically for mental health and self-care. We encourage activities like therapy sessions, mindfulness practices, or simply disconnecting to recharge. It’s about normalizing the prioritization of mental health, just as one would take a sick day for a physical illness.

Kimberley Tyler-SmithKimberley Tyler-Smith
VP of Strategy and Growth, Resume Worded

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