It’s easy to shy away from discussions about mental health, but you need to raise awareness of available resources all year — not just during Mental Health Awareness Month. Business leaders should share myths about depression, suicide and drug and alcohol abuse, as well as warning signs.
Establish an EAP to ensure employees have access to the mental health resources they need. In addition to letting your employees know such a program is available, make sure they know it’s confidential, so they’re more likely to take advantage of it. Above all, don’t bury it in a thick employee handbook, never to bring it up again.
Dr. Ann Clark, founder and CEO of ACI Specialty Benefits, urges leaders to audit their benefits to ensure they’re offering 24/7 assistance. “In a time when people crave connection, check to see if every single call, text, email, mobile app intake, and live chat is answered by a real person, ready to listen,” she says. “If someone is brave enough to ask for help, there is nothing more discouraging than being confronted with automated prompts, long hold times, and password stress.”