As an employer, supporting your employees’ mental health should be one of your top priorities. Providing mental health support helps your employees maintain engagement and productivity. It also lowers the risks of experiencing anxiety, depression, or burnout.
If one of your benefits is a traditional group health insurance plan, employee mental health services might not be covered. As a result, your employees may need to visit out-of-network behavioral health providers. These visits tend to be significantly more expensive than visits to in-network healthcare providers.
Fortunately, you can take steps to better support your employees’ mental health. These ideas may help.
Learn four ways you can support your employees’ mental health.
1. Supplement Your Group Health Insurance
Consider adding a group coverage health reimbursement arrangement (GCHRA) to your current plan. This provides a monthly health allowance to cover the costs that are not included or fully paid for by the group plan.
A GCHRA lets you pay your employees only for the expenses they incur. Any funds an employee has remaining at the end of the plan year or when leaving your organization stay with your company.
Another option to consider is adding a health or wellness stipend to your employee benefits package. Your employees can pay for wellness apps, office visits, or activities that support health and wellness. The ability to participate in yoga sessions, meditation circles, exercise classes, or other activities helps support your employees’ mental health.
2. Provide Generous Paid Time Off
Encourage your employees to use all of their paid time off (PTO) every year. They need time away from work to rest and rejuvenate.
Your employees should be able to spend a significant amount of time with family and friends and completely disengage from work. This helps your employees come back rested and ready to produce.
3. Offer Mental Health Training
Share an anonymous survey to uncover ways you can support your employees’ mental health. Ask about the mental health challenges your employees are experiencing. Use your findings to provide guidance for the training topics.
Reach out to experts in your community who can share information and effective coping mechanisms for the mental health issues that are most relevant to your employees. Examples include stress management, postpartum depression, and imposter syndrome.
Your employees can benefit from expert guidance and the knowledge that they are not alone in their struggles. They also may be able to connect with colleagues or coworkers who have similar challenges and can relate to their experiences.
4. Openly Discuss Mental Health
Support ongoing communication about your employees’ mental health. Normalizing discussions about how your employees really are feeling takes away the stigma of seeking help for mental health concerns.
For instance, regularly talk about any benefits you offer that cover employee mental health services. Also, encourage managers to frequently check in with their employees to discuss any issues an employee may be experiencing and how a manager can help. Discussion topics may include stress levels, workloads, or personal problems that may be affecting work performance.
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