Are Your Employees Mentally Healthy?

Are Your Employees Mentally Healthy?

Posted by Stephen Spiegel on Jun 7, 2023


What every employer needs to know about mental health in the workplace.


Having a job provides so much more than an income. It can give a sense of purpose, achievement, and pride. The workplace environment can help employees feel included and build positive relationships. And most jobs provide numerous other benefits, from healthcare to education assistance to employee recognition programs.

Unfortunately, many employers don’t offer mental health perks. But there are myriad reasons why they should. 

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 1 in 5 American adults have a mental illness and as many as 71% experience negative symptoms of stress. Most of these people go to work every day, struggling with these issues on top of ordinary job pressures and stress.

Poor mental health in the workplace manifests in costly and damaging ways. Employees lose focus and motivation. Job performance and productivity suffer. Physical capabilities such as working memory and cognitive abilities decline, leading to poor decision-making and miscommunication. The negative effects of poor mental health in the workplace are nearly endless.

With that in mind, developing wellness solutions for employees is no longer optional. Employers must work to identify work-related risk factors and create mental health programs to help employees excel. May is Mental Health Awareness Month, which makes it the perfect time to explore what mental health means, some work-related risk factors, and a few effective ways to promote robust mental health in the workplace. 

Mental health 101

In the simplest form, mental health is the state of your cognitive processes, meaning you can function normally in response to everyday stressors. You get up, go to work, do your job, pick up the kids from school. You take the ordinary pressures of the day in stride.

Sometimes, however, it all gets to be a bit too much. Maybe we feel “burnt out” and don’t perform at our best. Maybe we get overwhelmed and need to step back. And that’s perfectly normal. Poor mental health doesn’t mean mental illness. Sometimes, we just need (to give ourselves) a break.

For companies looking to hire high-performing talent in today’s business landscape, mental health support is an important consideration. The old-school management style of pushing employees to the breaking point won’t cut it in the 21st century.


Mental health risk factors at work

To avoid workplace mental health issues, employers need to understand and address common risk factors. These include:

Deficient health and safety policies

Health and safety policies are in place to protect the well-being of employees, customers, employers, and visitors. Weak, deficient, or nonexistent policies can decrease employee mental health, discourage staff, and reduce profitability. It can also put the company at risk of prosecution.

Employers must ask themselves if their employees are working with hazardous materials or shoddy equipment and if the workplace is overcrowded, inadequately lit, poorly ventilated, or unsanitary. If workplace accidents are common or employees have safety complaints, there’s a problem. 

Inadequate employee support

Bosses who don’t help eliminate obstacles and share resources can make employees feel overwhelmed and numb. Employees who walk into work and get handed a new project without explanation or instruction can feel exasperated and defeated.

Insufficient communication and poor management practices

Poor communication and lack of clarity can strain relationships and increase workplace stress.

Peak performance pressure

Expecting employees to perform at peak levels consistently is unreasonable and puts them under undue pressure. This can increase stress and emotional exhaustion.

Job insecurity

In 2020, job loss due to the pandemic was a significant stressor for employees. It can happen in similar ways in any company at any time. The fear of being unable to care for families and pay household bills poses a grave threat to a person’s mental health.

Recognizing the risk factors present in your workplace is the first step to improving mental health policies. The next step is promoting strong and easily accessible mental health policies.

How to promote good mental health at work

As much as 80% of applicants say a company’s mental health culture, policies, and programs shape their decisions about working with them. With a bit of creativity, the ways to promote good health at work are endless. Here are a few of the most effective:


Institute regular check-ins and an open communication policy to get emotional feedback and mental health conversations started. When people know that the subject isn’t taboo, you’ll get a whole lot more feedback.

Healthcare benefits

Provide mental and physical healthcare benefits. There are a lot of ways to do this besides traditional insurance. Designate meditation rooms and times. Create exercise groups and free fitness classes. Design a mental wellness app or provide free therapy in the office. 


Build a flexible workplace where the most important thing is finishing the work, not a set schedule. Consider remote work or four-day weeks. Allow employees to set their own schedules as long as production stays high.

Promoting good mental health at work is mostly about treating each other with kindness and compassion and empowering your employees to be their best. 

Employers must consider that employees are human beings with rich and full lives outside of work. Simultaneously, employees must understand that the goal of the company is to make a profit and they have a role in the process. When everyone is on the same page, magic happens.

Help Your Employees Reach Their Full Potential with Supportive Mental Health Initiatives

Happy, healthy employees are more productive and loyal. Encourage your employees to live their best lives by offering opportunities to nourish their mental health at work. 

Crewhu helps organizations keep their employees feeling their best and growing professionally and personally. Book a CrewHu demo today, and let us show you how we can help you keep your employees engaged and healthy.

Topics: Mental Health, Mental Health Awareness Month, Employee Mental Health, Workplace Mental Health

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