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Mental Health and the Workplace

Author: XpertHR Editorial Team

Nearly one in five US adults lives with a mental illness, according to federal statistics. There is no typical profile of an employee struggling with a mental health issue, and issues can range from mild to severe. Anyone can experience a mental health issue at any time, and the signs are not always obvious.

Given the overall prevalence of mental health issues in the general population - and the exacerbation of many mental health concerns as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic - the work impact cannot be ignored. Even a relatively mild mental health issue can lead to absenteeism, presenteeism, declines in work performance, damaged relationships with coworkers and many other concerns.

When these effects are compounded across an entire organization, it becomes clear that it is in an employer's best interest to address employee mental health proactively. Employers can play a key role in:

  • Destigmatizing conversations about mental health;
  • Encouraging employees to reach out for help;
  • Implementing policies that support employees' mental health needs; and
  • Connecting employees to resources that offer needed help and support.