How employers globally are trying to address mental health issues

Earlier this year, the World Health Organization (WHO) released a comprehensive report on mental health. Amongst other things, the information called for a transformation in how we deal with mental health issues.

In addition to the guidelines discussed in the report by the WHO, which focus mainly on what individuals, communities, and governments can do, employers can also take the lead in addressing mental health issues by prioritizing mental health and well-being. For example, a 2021 Benefit Trends Survey by WTW (Willis Towers Watson) revealed that 73% of employees globally cite stress burnout and other related mental health issues as one of their most significant challenges. More recently, a 2022 ADP Research Institute Report found that 67% of workers experienced stress at least once a week, with one in seven employees reporting that they felt stressed daily.

Poor mental health in the workplace affects job performance and productivity, communication with coworkers, daily functioning, and overall engagement with one’s work. Given the wide-reaching effects of mental health issues on the workforce and the organization, employees globally are trying to address mental health issues by prioritizing mental health and well-being. Employers have taken a few initiatives to address mental issues, including wellness days, stress management rooms, additional breaks during the day, and recognizing or rewarding contributions of team members. To help maintain well-being through these initiatives, employers can further prioritize mental health through leadership, communication, and improving resources.


Leaders determine the tone and culture of organizations. Therefore, where prioritizing mental is concerned, leaders must be flexible with work environment demands that might place unnecessary stress on the well-being of employees. Organizations that demonstrate a commitment to ensuring employees know how to recognize and, where possible, treat mental health effects are better able to support disruptions to job performance and productivity. This is due to heightened awareness of threats to a workforce that are owed to feelings of stress, uncertainty, grief, and fear.


Another way employers can prioritize mental health and well-being in the workplace is to have regular sessions that remind employees about the need for self-care, stress management, and wellness activities. Also, directly asking employees what support is needed makes a workforce feel appreciated. Finally, through Q&A online meetings and one-on-one consultations, leaders can create a space for workers to share information related to mental health awareness. Along with providing information to employees is the necessity of making this information easily accessible and reminding employees where they can find it.

Improving Resources

Apart from solid leadership as well as constant communication on the topic of mental health, employees can ensure well-being is prioritized through increasing and improving resources. Examples of prevention resources that employees have created include Employee Resource Groups and utilize the Employee Assistance Program. Each of these has been adopted by organizations globally to help support employee mental health and well-being. The Employee Resource Group is a peer support initiative that allows employees to support each other through group discussions. The Employee Assistance Program provides short-term counseling, referral, management consultation, and coaching services to employees needing mental health support.


Mental health and well-being have become the number one priority of global health agencies. Similarly, organizations recognize the importance of employee mental health and well-being, mainly because it negatively affects business performance and productivity in addition to impacting individuals. Therefore, focusing on three critical areas of mental health and wellness management, such as leadership, communication, and improving resources, can allow organizations to prioritize mental health issues, thereby prioritizing the well-being of the entire organization.