Americans are demanding better mental health resources from their workplace – and they have ample reason to. According to a recent poll by the American Psychological Association (APA), nearly two thirds of adults say their life has been permanently changed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Many of those surveyed report declines in their physical activity, sleep quality, and mental health in general. Now more than ever, employees need more support from their workplace to better manage the daily stressors of modern life.
Empowering your workers with the mental health tools they need to succeed is a win for everyone. Here are some ways to help improve your healthcare team’s mental health:
1. Listen to your staff
When employees feel like they have a voice in important decisions, they’re more likely to stay at a job. You should regularly ask staff for their input on company policies. You can use surveys, anonymous suggestion boxes, and focus groups to gather feedback. Then, be open and honest about the results and put together a plan to address any problems identified.
2. Promote better wellness from the top down
Train your managers and supervisors on best practices for mental health in the workplace. Mid-level management typically has the most contact with employees, which gives them the best opportunity to help staff directly. Teaching management how to recognize signs of burnout and provide support for employees helps reduce turnover and absenteeism. Managers should understand that employees have a life outside of work, and always be striving to model and promote healthy work/life balance.
3. Bump up mental health benefits
At the very least, your staff’s mental health benefits should align with the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act, which requires coverage for staff’s mental health, behavioral health, and substance use disorders that’s on par with their physical health coverage. If you already have these benefits in place, look for more ways to bolster your employee’s mental health coverage. Consider choosing a plan with out-of-network benefits, so staff have access to a wider range of mental health specialists.
4. Take an honest look at DEI policies
Fostering an inclusive, equitable work culture is essential for your staff’s collective mental health; workplace discrimination and inequity are indisputably linked to stress and job abandonment. Consider hiring an out-of-house DEI consultant to take an objective look at your company’s policies for supporting women, people of color, LGBTQ+ populations, people with disabilities, and other marginalized groups.
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