How to support employee mental health

Published by HealthFitness on April 3rd, 2023

Mental health has been — and continues to be — one of the top concerns by employers. In fact, according to a recent survey when employers were asked to select their top priorities over the next three years, enhancing mental health and emotional wellbeing programs and solutions came out on top with 67 percent choosing it — equal in priority to managing the company’s health care plan costs.(1)

Here’s how we’re helping companies address this area with programs and services that help support the mental health of employees.  

Mental Health First Aid
We help our clients raise awareness around mental health by offering  Mental Health First Aid training and certification. Through this training course, participants learn how to identify, understand and respond to signs of mental health issues and substance use disorders among adults.

Mental Health First Aid is a skills-based certification course — like CPR. Just as CPR training helps a person with no clinical training assist an individual following a heart attack, Mental Health First Aid training helps a person assist someone who is developing a mental health problem or experiencing a mental health crisis.

The training teaches participants how to implement a five-step action plan and provides them with the skills they need to reach out and provide initial support to someone who may be experiencing a mental health or substance use issue. For most people, knowing how to approach someone and start a conversation is often the hardest part. Participants learn how to listen and give reassurance in a way that gives realistic hope and optimism.

Mental Health First Aid was developed in Australia in 2000 and brought to the U.S. in 2008 by the National Council for Mental Wellbeing.​ Almost 3 million people have gone through the course worldwide.(2)

Youth Mental Health First Aid
Because youth is such a pivotal time when it comes to identifying emerging signs and symptoms and supporting mental health, we are also helping our clients become Youth Mental Health First Aid certified. With 50 percent of all mental illnesses beginning by age 14, it’s crucial for adults with children and adolescents in their life to learn the common signs and symptoms of mental health challenges and how to properly respond.(3) And with the growing number of working parents, we are seeing companies offer Youth Mental Health First Aid.

This course is for adults — and participants learn how to identify, understand and respond to signs of mental health and substance use challenges among children ages 12–18+. The earlier participants can support someone with their mental health, the fewer negative downstream impacts they’ll encounter and the quicker their recovery may be.

Thrive, building resilience
A resilient mindset can go a long way in today’s ever-changing world. We offer a six-week group program called Thrive, that helps employees learn practical skills to adapt to adversity and stress while also supporting overall wellbeing. Our Thrive program helps employees build resilience skills to so they can adapt to adversity and stress while also supporting overall wellbeing. This program helps employees train their minds to be strong and flexible through the practice of presence, engagement, gratitude, inquiry and meditation activities.

Educational meet ups
Our What’s What Meet ups help employees clear up all the confusing noise surrounding a variety of health topics — including mental health — by providing quick learning opportunities and key takeaways that get straight to the facts. The Meet ups include 10-minute quick hits on topics that raise awareness and leave employees with next steps. Topics include mindfulness, social wellbeing, sleep, gratitude, winter blues, and more.

Fitness and wellness challenges.
Help employees have fun, connect and add movement to their day with interactive fitness and wellness challenges. Our library of challenges include time bound, trackable activities that address more than 35 relevant topics and trends, including physical activity, stress management, resilience, nutrition and wellbeing.

Employees at our client sites are highly engaged in fitness challenges, especially those that involve some type of friendly competition between teams. Fitness challenges provide on-site, remote and hybrid employees the opportunity to with their coworkers throughout the company.
Learn more 

1. Willis Towers Watson’s Best Practices in Healthcare Survey
2. The National Council for Mental Wellbeing 
3. National Alliance on Mental Illness