Would your managers know what to do if one of their workers came to them with a mental health problem? Probably not, according to recent research from Unum.
The giant benefits provider just released a new report, Strong Minds at Work, and it offers some startling stats on the state of mental health issues in the workplace:
- Only 25% of managers have been trained on how to refer employees to mental health resources.
- More than half (55%) don’t know how to help an employee with a mental health issue.
Has stigma worsened?
Even though about one in five people live with a mental health illness (such as depression, anxiety or PTSD) and so many of them are treatable, the stigma about mental illness persists.
In fact, many employees (61%) said there’s a stigma toward those with mental health issues and more than half (55%) weren’t aware of any programs or policies in place for employees facing mental health issues.
What can employers do to ease the stigma? Having an employee assistance program (EAP) in place – and making sure your employees are aware of it – is a start, but Unum offers other important strategies:
More manager training: Managers and supervisors need to be given training on how to spot warning signs of employees who may be having issues (missed work, irritability, lack of focus, missed deadlines, etc.) and how to approach these workers.
Stamp out stigma: Along with senior management, HR pros can work toward normalizing mental health issues in the workplace (go to stampoutstigma.com for ideas). Since May is Mental Health Awareness Month, employers can use the opportunity to create awareness about how to get help if needed.
Offer telebehavioral health services: App-based programs (such as Joyable or Daylight) are low-cost benefits that allow workers to get help.