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Mental health in the workplace has been a hot topic for a while, but it’s recently become increasingly important as employees are facing the consequences of the coronavirus. How can you help promote positive mental health among your employees? Here are a few ideas:

 

Offer PTO

You likely already offer your employees paid vacation days and sick time, but how do you make them feel when they try to use that time? Taking time off is crucial for everyone, and allowing your employees to take advantage of the PTO you offer without making them feel guilty will benefit everyone in the long run. If you don’t make your employees feel guilty about taking a vacation, they’ll be better able to relax and recharge and come back to the office feeling fresh and ready to work.

 

Be flexible with hours

Encouraging employees to take care of their mental health means being supportive when one or more of them decide to utilize therapy. Their therapy sessions will likely coincide with the work day; however, therapy is necessary for many people when it comes to mental health, so be flexible with them and their hours.

 

Make sure the health insurance you offer includes options for therapy.

As previously mentioned, therapy is necessary for many people, but the bills can certainly rack up and make it less accessible. Consider finding ways to include mental health providers in your insurance offerings.

 

Encourage mental health days

Mental health days are often just as important as sick days. If your employees are having a rough mental health day and still come into the office, their productivity will likely suffer. However, if you encourage employees to take mental health days when needed, they’ll be able to take some time to recharge and return without hurting their productivity.

 

If you notice one of your coworkers struggling, it can be tricky to decide what to do about the situation. If the problem goes deeper than just struggling, such as fighting depression or anxiety, you also risk violating their privacy by bringing it up. A good start is simply to ask them how they’re doing, and if they mention any struggles, you can ask how you can help.

 

SAMHSA, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, offers a free helpline: 1-800-662-HELP

 

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is also available at 1-800-273-8255

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