Section 5: Education
Step 1: Distribution of healthy living print materials
Distributing materials that provide general mental health information and education throughout your worksite is one effective and relatively easy thing to do to raise the awareness of emotional wellness among your employees. This can be accomplished by creating resource areas in lunchrooms or other common areas. Materials could include:
- Self-assessment tools on lifestyle issues, healthy living fact sheets, and brochures.
- Healthy living posters in the workplace.
- Motivational messages on white and bulletin boards.
Depression (large print)
Real Men Real Depression
Stress at Work
Seasonal Affective Disorder
Step 2: Incorporate mental health information into avenues such as web sites, newsletters, or email reminders.
- Newsletters – both internal and from other organizations
- Special messages on key theme dates
- Healthy workplace website or web pages to connect employees to links for interactive interventions regarding healthy lifestyles, community events, resources and contacts.
- Daily health email messages.
- Health Cart - a special mobile resource section set up in the library for employees to access self-help tools, resources on healthy behaviors
Website: Live Your Life Well
PDF Mental Health America Mind Your Stress—On the Job
PDF Depression Page
PDF Food and Mood
Website: Families for Depression Awareness
Information such as the following points adapted from the King County web page on mental health and chemical dependency can be included in promotional materials:
- One in four people report they've missed work as a result of work-related stress.
- Workplace environments have a greater effect on employee stress levels than the number of hours employees work.
- Seventy-five percent of visits to doctors' offices concern stress-related ailments.
- In a typical workplace with 20 employees, four will likely develop a mental illness this year.
- Mental health conditions are the second leading cause of workplace absenteeism.
- People who have untreated mental health issues use more general health services than those who seek mental health care when they need it.
- More than three out of four employees who seek care for workplace issues or mental health problems see substantial improvement in work performance after treatment.
- Untreated and mistreated mental illness costs the United States $105 billion in lost productivity each year, and U.S. businesses foot up to $44 billion of this bill.
- Anxiety-related disorders cost the United States $42 billion a year in work-related and medical losses.
- Workers who abuse drugs cost their employers twice as much in medical and worker compensation claims as workers who do not abuse drugs.
Step 3: Provide Customized Education & Training
Provide education and training to all employees (including senior management) to heighten mental health awareness (i.e., “mental health literacy”). Host emotional wellness seminars to teach employees new skills and strategies for staying psychologically fit in an emotionally demanding job environment. Provide access to an EAP program to employees who need support.
Website: Allegiance Employee Assistance Program
PDF Employee Assistance
Website: It's Your Life
Step 4: Deliver Sustainable Interventions & Innovations
Programs directed at all employees (not only those as risk), that are sustained beyond one year, and that are supported by the workplace, are more likely to be effective. Removing barriers to treatment (such as extending the number of EAP sessions) has also been shown to be an effective strategy.
Website: It's Your Life
PowerPoint: Your Employees and Their Emotional Health