May Is Mental Health Awareness Month

Population Health & Well-Being

May Is Mental Health Awareness Month

After reading, listen to the TAKE A DEEPER DIVE audio clip with author Dr. Joel Axler at the bottom of the page

May is Mental Health Awareness Month, a time to emphasize the importance of mental well-being and destigmatize conversations around mental health. This presents a unique opportunity for employers to cultivate a workplace environment that supports employee mental health. Prioritizing workforce mental health is not just a moral imperative but also a strategic investment in the well-being and productivity of your team.

Mental Health: The Employee Experience

  • 80% of workers report feeling stressed on the job, and nearly half said they need help learning how to manage their stress.1
  • The American Psychological Association reports that work-related stress can lead to a wide range of health problems, including risk of heart disease, obesity and depression.2
  • US businesses lose more than $300 billion annually in absenteeism, turnover, diminished productivity and medical, legal and insurance costs related to mental health or substance use issues.1
  • Only one-third of employees report that their company’s leadership speaks openly about mental health.3

Prioritizing Mental Health in the Workplace

These facts are a sobering reminder of the toll poor mental health takes on U.S. workers and their employers. The good news is that employers can play an important role in raising mental health awareness, reducing stigma and creating supportive work environments. Potential steps include the following:

  • Understand the importance of mental health
  • Promote open dialogue
  • Evaluate current mental health benefits (e.g., programs available, utilization rates) and identify opportunities for improvement
  • Launch mental health awareness and anti-stigma campaigns
  • Offer mental health training and education across all levels of the organization
  • Demonstrate leadership support and commitment
  • Celebrate success stories
  • Collect employee feedback to understand their needs and priorities (e.g., surveys, focus groups, employee resource groups)
  • Explore ways to provide employees with flexibility and control over their work
  • Promote free, confidential mental health screenings such as Mental Health America’s online screening tool

Download Mental Health America’s Workplace Mental Health Toolkit for more tips, tools and resources.

How We Can Help

The Brown & Brown Population Health & Well-Being consulting team works with employers to help increase employee engagement, reduce medical costs and increase productivity. Our experienced consultants provide customized solutions to address mental health and substance use issues, focused primarily on four key areas:

  • Mental and Behavioral Health Strategy
  • Educational Communications
  • Training, Webinars and Thought Leadership
  • Vendor Selection and Management

Because we recognize that mental health is a leading business issue for employers, our team created the Mental Health Solution Toolkit* to help employers support the mental health needs of employees and their families.

The toolkit is designed to help employers:

  1. Quantify the impact of behavioral health conditions on the organization (medical and Rx spend, prevalence rates, absenteeism)
  2. Build a business case for action and a strategic roadmap for addressing your organization’s mental health needs
  3. Address stigma and increase organizational awareness of mental health symptoms and resources
  4. Improve access to low/no-cost resources for employees and their families

*The Mental Health Solution Toolkit and our Population Health & Well-Being consulting services are designed for employers with 200 or more employees.

Learn More

Connect with your local Brown & Brown representative or click here to learn more about our population health and well-being capabilities, including our Mental Health Solution Toolkit for employers.


Take a deeper dive with author Dr. Joel Axler as he explains three ways employers can help improve the mental health of their employees.

1. American Institute of Stress: Workplace Stress.
2. American Psychological
3. Mind Share Partners (2021). 2021 Mental Health at Work Report.

Dr. Joel Axler

National Behavioral Health Leader