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Breaking Down the Stigma of Mental Health in the Workplace

For this webinar, we looked at how organizations are currently addressing mental health in the workplace. Andrea Herron, our Head of People, met with the founder of Beyond Well Solutions, Sheila Hamilton, to discuss why it's so important for employers to support mental health at work. Here's what we learned:

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Common mental illnesses in the workplace

The top five mental illnesses that show up in the working population include:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

Pre-COVID-19 mental health statistics

Before the pandemic, Harvard Business Review conducted a study on mental health and work. The study showed that of those surveyed:

  • 86% think a company’s culture should support mental health.
  • 85% of millennials think employers should have a mental health policy in place.
  • 75% of Gen Z and 50% of millennials have left roles in the past for mental health reasons.

Enter COVID-19

The pandemic is having a significant impact on mental health right now. Nearly half (45%) of adults report that COVID-19 has had a negative effect on their mental health so far.1 And they’re worried about more than just the physical health impacts—people are concerned about their finances, stressed about their loved ones, and even anxious about social distancing rules and returning to work.

It’s likely that the pandemic is only going to increase pressure as time goes on. Caring for patients, grief, financial loss, job loss, healthcare coverage loss, isolation, working from home, managing childcare—right now, people are trying to carry it all, and the burden is only intensifying burnout and stress.

How to support mental health at work

Luckily, there are several things companies can do to support their employees’ mental health in the workplace and their home lives. Some actionable steps employers can take now to help mental health include:

  • Drive awareness to and ensure your employees know about the employer-sponsored programs available to them.
  • Train your managers for mental health conversations.
  • Update your mental health policies.

Other mental health resources

Andrea and Sheila provided an incredible amount of resources that companies can use and share with their employees. Some organizations they mentioned throughout the webinar include the following mental health resources:

  • helpyourselfhelpothers.org: This organization provides anonymous self-assessments for yourself or a loved one, as well as informational materials to help people take proactive next steps.
  • NAMI.org: The National Alliance on Mental Illness provides information and resources for people suffering, plus materials for those who love someone with a mental illness.
  • Screening questionnaires: Check your EAP resources to see which free screening questionnaires they offer.
  • Dual Diagnosis Anonymous: This organization provides support and fellowship to help people overcome a dual diagnosis.
  • Intentional Peer Support: This organization offers tips for people who love someone with a mental illness, including things they can say without offending or making someone defensive.

Mental health is an ongoing journey. To learn more about our mental wellness solutions that support overall well-being, contact us at connect@webmd.net.

1. The Kaiser Family Foundation. The Implications of COVID-19 for Mental Health and Substance Use. April 21, 2020.

Presented by

Andrea Herron
Head of People,
WebMD Health Services

Sheila Hamilton
Founder,
Beyond Well Solutions

Julie Mallory
 Sr. Marketing Manager as Moderator,
WebMD Health Services

Watch the recording to learn:

• The most common mental disorders that show up in the working population.
• How COVID-19 is causing an immediate need for additional emotional health support.
• Steps you can take to help your organization’s mental and emotional health right now.
• How to support mental health and emotional health in the workplace long-term.
• The dos and don’ts of starting conversations about mental health at work.

Register to Watch the Webinar

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