World Mental Health Day | Make Mental Health and Well-Being a Global Priority

Behavioral Health

World Mental Health Day | Make Mental Health and Well-Being a Global Priority

According to the American Psychiatric Association, 1-in-5 adults experiences a mental health condition each year.1 This means mental illness stigma may affect a significant portion of the American population, including people in offices and worksites across the nation. Depending on the size of your company, 1-in-5 could represent one person in each department.2 These employees may want to engage in conversation about workplace mental health but do not have the resources or may encounter barriers while trying to find support.

Untreated mental health conditions can impact the day-today workings of a company, both financially and in terms of morale. Symptoms can include sleep problems, lack of concentration, aches and pains, irritability, low motivation or self-medication. These symptoms can have a negative impact on the workplace. In addition, mental illness costs the economy about $200 billion in lost earnings each year.3

There are many ways that an organization can support individuals experiencing mental health challenges; however, the biggest obstacle is often getting employees to utilize the support and services available. 8-in-10 workers say shame and stigma prevent them from seeking treatment for a mental health condition. The work environment has a significant impact on all employees. It is imperative for workplaces to be mentally healthy and supportive, yet, 52% of employees say their company doesn’t do enough to promote employee health.4

Employers can begin to change this by becoming a StigmaFree Company—a company with a culture of openness, acceptance and understanding about employees’ overall health and well-being. You can take steps to help reduce stigma in the workplace:

  1. Create company policies regarding mental health. You can support your employees in receiving the help they need by offering:
    • Adequate insurance coverage
    • Employee Assistance Programs
    • Accommodations and/or disability planning for people with mental health conditions
    • Access to quality care providers and services
    • Policies to support family caregivers
  2. Show support to employees. Supervisors and employees should be open to conversations about how to support employee mental health, be proactive in approaching coworkers who may be struggling, and understand if someone needs accommodations or time off work.
  3. Provide management training. It’s important for managers to know how to have effective conversations about mental health and wellness in relation to discussions about performance and discipline.
  4. Decrease stigma in the workplace. Using non-stigmatizing language, encouraging employees to support one another, and providing resources about mental health help create a healthy workplace culture.

How to Get Started

The StigmaFree Company initiative sponsored by NAMI encourages Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), or business practices that take responsibility for a company’s impact on social well-being. This initiative combines CSR with employee engagement activities available in NAMI’s StigmaFree Company Welcome Kit. The kit equips companies with the resources, assets and information they need to promote mental health awareness in the workplace and to encourage acceptance and understanding.

Brown & Brown would like to encourage you to help fight against stigma. By signing up below to become a StigmaFree Company, you are committing to help create an accepting and healthy culture within your workplace environment.

Become a StigmaFree Company

1 Psychiatry.org – Mental Health Awareness Month
2, 3, 4 (National Alliance on Mental Illness): https://nami.org/Get-Involved/Pledge-to-Be-StigmaFree/StigmaFree-Company Please review the NAMI Terms of Use.

Behavioral Health Team

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