Recent research by Mind Share, SAP and Qualtrics reports that mental health is the next frontier of diversity and inclusion. The research focused on company culture, turnover and the growing impact of mental health on millennials and gen zers.
The study found that nearly 60% of employees experienced symptoms in the past year — a number much higher than the oft-cited 20% of people who manage a condition in any given year — and close to 60% also never talked about their conditions at work.
Workplaces will inevitably need to address the high turnover and mental health concerns of Millennials and Gen Zers who make up the largest demographic in the workforce with specific mental health strategy.
The study found three of the most commonly desired mental health resources for the workplace:
1. More open and accepting culture, starting from the top
Out of those employees surveyed, 86% of them thought company culture should support mental health, with leaders as allies in the conversation. This is often cited as one of the most difficult areas for companies to change. However, personal stories from leaders and employees in general can encourage teams and colleagues to start a conversation.
Uprise Health requests leaders use our program before sending mental health comms to their employees to recommend they try it and priorities their wellbeing. Leaders and companies are rated as 10% more supportive after offering Uprise Health to their employees.
2. Training and education
The second most desired resource by employees was up-skilling opportunities related to their own and others mental wellbeing. It is becoming the standard that ALL employees are trained in how to name, normalize and navigate mental health at work. This differs from traditional models where only managers or leaders are provided this information.
Uprise Health is centered around improving the mental health literacy of employees for themselves and others by training them in key skills to remain mentally healthy and resilient in times of stress. As training can be accessed online, all employees have the opportunity to learn more about their mental health in a flexible and accessible format.
3. Clear information on where to go and who to ask for support
Companies need solid, proactive mental health benefits that are communicated clearly to ALL employees. Although most employers provide a traditional EAP, it is often highly stigmatized to ask for help, particularly in a workplace context. Employers should make information about available support highly accessible and access to that support should remain confidential.
Uprise Health has an average 24% (with many clients up to 80%) of employees signing in to our EAP support platform and checking their wellbeing score. Employees book counselling or coaching online on a discrete, easy to use and highly accessible platform. Out of our clients, those who mention Uprise Health and mental health topics frequently at meetings, one-on-ones and events have the highest uptake and awareness.
Providing employees with the support they need improves not only engagement but also recruitment and retention, whereas doing nothing reinforces an outdated and damaging stigma. To meet employees increasing expectations about workplace responsibility, mental health resources should be provided in a way that is more proactive and employee focused.