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Mental Health

CEOs Should Understand Workplace Mental Health Problems

— February 28, 2024

Promoting mental health in the workplace is beneficial for both employees and their employers, studies show.

It’s only the right thing to do for businesses to value workplace mental health. On a human level, it’s decent and considerate to be concerned with others and want to make sure they are given everything they need to thrive. We can’t always give others the help they need, but it’s only right to collectively try our best.

With that said, it’s not only for moral reasons that CEOs and their businesses should be thinking about the mental health of their teams. It’s also valuable for economic reasons, as a group of employees that is in a good mental place will be more likely to produce outstanding results. And, conversely, employees who are struggling with their mental health can easily drag down the business, meaning no one wins in the end. Careful consideration on this important topic is critical to make sure the whole group can move forward together.

It’s one thing to speak in abstract terms about the problems that mental health issues can cause on the job. It’s another thing entirely to see exactly how expensive those issues can be. For instance, a new study shows that the American economy is hit for $210 billion a year due to mental health needs, and employers are paying for roughly half of that care. So, obviously, improving the mental health of workers through a variety of measures would be strongly advantageous to the business.

CEOs Should Understand Workplace Mental Health Problems
Photo by Nataliya Vaitkevich from Pexels

One way to possibly improve the mental health of employees is through wellness programs, which are themselves a growing market. Already over $50 million a year is spent on corporate wellness, and that may double in the coming years as this issue gets more and more attention. These kinds of programs may not be able to help employees who have existing, serious mental health challenges, but they could prove useful for those with milder symptoms.

It’s important for businesses to have a clear plan when implementing wellness programs and other strategies aimed at mental health. Using tools like mindfulness apps, resilience training, and other techniques could be helpful, although the early results haven’t been entirely encouraging in terms of the outcomes they reach. It will likely take a custom approach within each organization to determine what stresses the employees face on the job and what kinds of programs or interventions could help them remain in a positive, optimistic frame of mind.

Mental health concerns aren’t going away anytime soon. One of the best things to happen in recent years is the newfound openness around mental health topics – more people than ever before are willing to share their struggles and reach out for help. That’s a good start, but it’s going to take more than a start to get everyone the assistance they need. If businesses large and small can play an active role in the mental health solution – rather than just being part of the problem – that will go a long way, as well.


Workplace Mental Health Failures: This Is What CEOs Need To Know

Employee well-being outcomes from individual-level mental health interventions: Cross-sectional evidence from the United Kingdom

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