Burnout is Real. How Can You Help?
In general, one in five adults in the U.S. suffer from mental health issues, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness. And since the pandemic that number has climbed significantly. Despite its prevalence, many employer-sponsored healthcare plans do not provide adequate coverage, especially when compared to coverage for physical ailments.
It’s up to you as a business owner to bridge that gap because prioritizing mental health will result in happier, more productive, and physically healthier employees. That’s right, mental illness increases a person’s risk of developing cardiovascular and metabolic diseases by as much as forty percent. Which proves that taking care of your mind is just as important as taking care of your body.
A 2020 study by Aetna International found that 84 percent of employees think their mental health is more important now than it was prior to the pandemic. This shift could lead you to lose out on top talent if you don’t prioritize employee health and well-being.
If you’re looking for ways to boost your mental health and wellness offerings for your employees, here are a few places to start.
1. Make sure your health insurance provider offers adequate mental health coverage
Review the coverage your current plan provides. What options does it give to employees seeking treatment for mental health issues? If you’re unsure whether the current options are robust enough, poll employees to get their thoughts. If your healthcare provider’s plan comes up short, consider alternate options.
2. Normalize taking mental health days
A physical ailment can affect someone’s ability to do their job just as much as a mental ailment can. Remove the stigma around taking time off to focus on mental health. Make sure your PTO structure specifies this in addition to encouraging employees to take advantage of it. Better yet, lead by example and take a mental health day for yourself every so often.
3. Incorporate mental health and wellness benefits into the office
Provide a relaxing space for meditation. Offer a mid-day yoga class. Encourage employees to take breaks throughout the day, whether eating lunch away from their desk or taking an afternoon walk so they can refocus. In addition to these more individualized practices, try incorporating community wellness into your team. Plan a social outing or volunteer opportunity. Strengthening social ties among your employees can help alleviate loneliness and stress.
The Bottom Line
Over the past few years and especially since the pandemic, the importance of prioritizing mental health has been brought to the forefront. It’s time to make your workplace health and wellness plans current to meet your employee’s expectations.