Mental health in the workplace is a crucial topic that deserves our attention and understanding. Some people feel shame and distress when they reach out for help, but this is a stigma we’re working on removing. Offering group benefits that include mental health coverage and improved access is essential to ensuring your team feels supported.

Some strategies for helping improve mental health in the workplace include:

  • Encouraging communication and offering support
  • Prioritizing work-life balance
  • Developing clear policies and procedures
  • Creating opportunities for professional development
  • Providing a safe and comfortable work environment

While these strategies may not be universally applicable to every industry, consider how they can be adapted and implemented to align with your workplace’s needs and circumstances. For instance, a construction company may not be able to provide a “comfortable” work environment in the traditional sense, but they can prioritize safety measures and establish supportive systems to promote the well-being of their employees. It’s about finding creative solutions and taking meaningful steps to foster a mentally healthy workplace for everyone involved.

Talk to an experienced financial advisor or group benefits expert to help you develop a group benefits plan that complements other strategies you’ve employed to improve your staff’s overall mental health.

5 Workplace Strategies for Mental Health

Ensuring your staff gets the mental health support they need benefits them as people but it also benefits your business in the long run. 

Encourage Communication & Support

Communication and support are critical in creating a healthy workplace culture. Encourage employees to share their thoughts and feelings with their colleagues and managers. Offer training on how to communicate effectively and handle conflict resolution, including addressing mental health concerns.

Provide employee support and resources, such as counselling services or an employee assistance program (EAP). Consider creating a confidential support group for employees who may be dealing with specific mental health challenges.

Prioritize Work-Life Balance

Studies show that work-life balance is a significant factor in mental health. A healthy work-life balance can reduce stress, emotional exhaustion, anxiety, and depression. 

Encourage employees to take regular breaks and time off to recharge and disconnect from work. Offer flexible work schedules, such as working from home or flexible hours. Set realistic expectations and deadlines to prevent burnout. By prioritizing work-life balance, employees can effectively manage their tasks and cultivate a healthier, more harmonious life.

Develop Clear Policies & Procedures

Clear policies and procedures can help create a transparent and supportive workplace culture. Develop policies that prioritize mental wellness and are inclusive and supportive of employees with mental health conditions. 

Ensure there are clear procedures for accommodations for time off, reduced workload or schedule, and other necessary support. It’s essential to recognize that mental health conditions are real and require appropriate support like physical illnesses do.

Create Opportunities for Professional Development

Providing opportunities for professional development can help employees feel valued and motivated, leading to better mental health outcomes. 

Encourage employees to pursue training and development opportunities, including mental health awareness and stress management training, and offer leadership programs to support career progression. 

Provide a Safe & Comfortable Physical Environment

Creating a safe and comfortable physical environment can positively impact employee mental health. Ensure the workplace is secure and free of hazards. Provide a comfortable workspace, including ergonomic furniture or natural lighting. Encourage employees to personalize their workspace to make it more comfortable and welcoming. A visually appealing and comfortable workspace can help people feel less stressed, leading to better mental health.

How to Employ These Strategies

Not every strategy is suitable for every type of business, but there are a few ways you can realistically help boost the mental health of your staff in a couple of practical ways.

Employee Assistance Program

An EAP offers confidential support to employees when personal challenges affect their work performance. It provides short-term counselling to help them navigate and overcome these difficulties.

EAPs are designed to assist with a wide range of issues, from mental health struggles and financial worries to eldercare or marital problems.

Mental Health Coverage with Benefits

Extended health benefits in a Canadian workplace often include coverage for mental health services. Many individuals access these services for help managing anxiety, depression, family problems, or work issues.

Some employers may decide to increase the plan’s mental health coverage, like increasing their coverage from $1,000 to $5,000 per year. This increased coverage can make a huge difference in their life and ultimately lead to more productivity.

How Is Mental Health Connected to Productivity?

Mental health plays a crucial role in productivity. When we’re feeling good mentally, we can focus better, make decisions more effectively, and get more done.

When our mental health is compromised, it can lead to difficulties in concentrating, decision-making, and maintaining motivation to complete tasks. It’s like trying to run a marathon with a heavy backpack. The extra weight makes it harder to reach the finish line.

When we take care of our mental health, we’re better equipped to tackle our to-do lists. We can think clearly, make decisions confidently, and maintain a positive attitude, even when challenges arise.

A young man and a woman speaking to their benefits advisor

Discuss Your Group Benefits with an Expert

Group benefits plans are highly customizable and can be adjusted to best support your industry’s needs. Contact our team of professionals at Qopia Financial. We’re happy to sit down with you to discuss how a comprehensive group benefits plan can help your company thrive.

Benjamin Lewandowski, CFP, CIM
Benjamin Lewandowski, CFP, CIM

I help the disengaged investor reach their financial goals by taking the guesswork out of their investment strategy and bringing clarity to their financial plan. Let me build a personalized plan and help you reach financial independence.

From the beginning of my career, my biggest goal has been making sure clients feel like they have been given unbiased, expert advice. In an industry with very little transparency between the advisor and the client, not to mention the low barriers of entry, it is imperative for clients to have justified service for the costs they pay.