Mental Health Matters: Here’s How to Talk to Encourage Employees to Use Mental Health Benefits

Almost one-half of the U.S. workforce say they are struggling with mental health issues in the wake of COVID. Issues of burnout, frustration and depression have undoubtedly led to the Great Resignation phenomenon, where millions of American workers left their jobs. The word “millions” isn’t an exaggeration either; for the past six months or so, four million people have quit their jobs each month.

Employers are aware of all of these trends and worry about the retention of their current workforce and their mental health. If you’re one of these employers, we have some tips that will help you encourage your teams to leverage their mental health benefits to take better care of themselves.

EAPs: Our Best Underutilized Mental Health Resource

If your company offers healthcare or works with a company like ADD STAFF, you likely have access to an employee assistance program (EAP). Yet we know that many employees know very little about these programs or, are afraid of the stigma associated with mental health, and so they fail to use this benefit when they need it the most. One article suggested that 9 out of 10 times the employee has no idea this benefit even exists. That makes it critical for employers to make their workforce understand how these programs can help them cope with any mental health issues they may have now or in the future. How can you bring these resources to the attention of your employees in a way that gives them the support they need without stigmatizing their need to use these services?

Bring Mental Health to the Forefront of Your Discussions

Employers are stepping up to address the mental health issues of their workforce. Some offer meditation apps or virtual therapy sessions for free in addition to or in place of an EAP. Others have increased their PTO or flex time off to help alleviate stress in the workplace. Employers are also adding questions into regular employee surveys about mental health and wellbeing. These are all important steps that can bring attention to these issues.

If you offer an EAP as part of your benefits package, one of the best ways to demystify these service offerings is to communicate regularly with employees about how to use these tools and what they can do for your workforce. Many employees either don’t know about these services, don’t understand how they work, or perhaps only think they can be used during a crisis. None of these assumptions are realistic.

So, employers must communicate details of these programs both to existing employees, contractors, and even potentially, to new and future workers to make mental health a standard part of the workplace discussion.

Contact ADD STAFF Today

ADD STAFF works with employers seeking talent. We can help your business find the right employees at the right time for your business. Contact us today to find out how we can help.