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7 Innovative Mental Health Solutions Every HR Department Should Consider

December 5th, 2023 | 4 min. read

By Everside Health

patient talking to mental health provider

Addressing mental health in the workplace is no longer a mere option; it’s an absolute must. Implementing innovative mental health solutions that address the needs of employees can improve retention and productivity, boost your bottom line, and increase revenue and morale.

Fortunately, your role means you have the capability and influence to support employee mental health. Using strategic solutions, you can create a robust benefits package that acknowledges the importance of mental health in the workplace. 

Why HR must focus on mental health

Whether through mindfulness training for stress or by encouraging regular time off for work-life balance – or anything else that promotes mental health wellness – every effort you make counts towards better employee well-being. 

Employees today demand competitive benefits packages, and the truth is, if you’re not offering comprehensive care that includes innovative mental health solutions, you’re risking more than an unhealthy workforce – you’re risking losing valuable people to your competition.

The impact of mental health issues has become more evident, making it crucial for HR departments to step up and address this matter. Research offers evidence that untreated mental health disorders and concerns are directly linked to loss of productivity and increased absenteeism and presenteeism. 

You can help employees feel supported at work by offering resources, support, and initiatives focusing on maintaining good mental health. Some of the innovative mental health solutions you might consider include:

  • Promoting open dialogue about mental health
  • Mindfulness training
  • Taking time off
  • Offering rest places
  • Developing fitness partnerships
  • Establishing Diversity Equity and Inclusion (DEI) groups
  • Making mental health coverage part compensation packages

Internal ways to address workplace stressors and encourage stress reduction

There are several ways you can make mental health a priority in your organization. 

1. Promote open dialogue about mental health

Although it’s getting better, there’s still a stigma attached to mental health. HR teams and organizations must break down these barriers by fostering open communication and normalizing that good mental health is a priority.

How to do it:

This might include creating policies such as: 

  • Creating safe spaces where employees feel comfortable discussing their struggles without fear of judgment or retaliation. 
  • Having honest conversations that normalize discussions around mental well-being.
  • Encouraging people who need help to seek it sooner rather than later.
  • Offering mental health care as part of your benefits packages.

2. Mindfulness training

Mindfulness training – like meditation sessions, deep breathing, journaling, or yoga – can help workers stay present and focused, reducing anxiety levels over time. Some studies suggest that it can even improve job satisfaction. 

How to do it:

Ways to naturally implement mindfulness into the workdays can include: 

  • Allowing for short breaks throughout the day to allow the mind some rest from constant stimulation.
  • Practicing mindfulness meditation exercises to help manage stress and anxiety.
  • Scheduling “no meeting” blocks in the calendar to give employees time to focus on deep work without interruptions.

3. Encourage time off

Overworked people have higher anxiety and stress levels, negatively impacting workplace culture and productivity. Time off lets employees recharge mentally and physically. Make sure people understand that their vacation days should be used. 

Harvard Business Review research shows that every extra 10 hours of vacation time employees take can improve performance by up to 8%, and employees who regularly take their vacation time are more likely to stay with their company longer. Other benefits include an increase in happiness and creativity.

How to do it:

To prevent a scenario where employees burn out instead of taking advantage of vacation time, encourage regularly using time off for better work-life balance.

4. Offer rest places

Create designated rest spaces where team members can unwind when needed – think cozy corners with comfortable seating options.

How to do it:

You can promote mental breaks and rest by:

  • Encouraging times throughout the day for quiet reflection.
  • Designating peaceful corners of lunch or break rooms.
  • Dedicating rest spaces throughout the office to help rejuvenate tired minds so people are ready to conquer their tasks after a quick break.

5. Foster fitness partnerships 

A fit body leads to a healthy mind. Partnering with local gyms or fitness instructors for discounted rates encourages regular exercise, which boosts mood. Research shows that exercise can help combat depression and anxiety.

How to do it:

You don’t have to install a complete gym in the office to promote physical fitness. You can also: 

  • Partner with a local gym.
  • Run incentives and offer new home equipment as rewards. 
  • Reimburse for Peloton or Mirror subscriptions.
  • Offer online fitness classes.

6. Make DE&I a priority

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) groups foster a sense of belonging. Take this notion further by supporting mental health support in diverse populations. DEI collectives can be a way for personnel from all backgrounds to feel accepted and heard in the workplace. These groups create a sense of belonging, which is vital for mental well-being. McKinsey & Company research notes that inclusion promotes engagement, which is crucial for productivity, retention, and revenue. 

How to do it:

Institute policies that promote DE&I by: 

  • First, talk to your team – share the research and data that supports implementing DE&I in the workplace.  
  • Listen to what people have to say.
  • Do not pass judgment on their feelings.
  • Invest in training that offers opportunities and workshops.
  • Create policies and share them with your leadership and teams.
  • Train leadership further on the essential benefits of creating a diverse, equitable, and inclusive workplace.

7. Ensure mental health coverage is part of your compensation benefits package

Mental health support is a critical part of benefits. Research shows that employees with access to therapy can see improved engagement and productivity on the job. Including mental health screenings and access to care can enhance job satisfaction and loyalty. 

How to do it: 

Ensure mental health benefits are accessible and affordable by:

  • Including benefits in your plan.
  • Reducing the stigma attached to mental health by having open conversations with leadership and employees. 
  • Making care easy to access, convenient, and affordable.

Mental health care as an integrated part of the Complete Care Solution with Everside Health

Employee well-being is about more than just physical health. Complete Care by Everside Health means you can provide Advanced Primary Care with mental health screenings. And additional add-on care options through LiveBetterTM can offer even more access to essential mental health services. 

Mental wellness plays a significant role in a comprehensive approach to health benefits – integrating innovative mental health solutions ensures employees can get therapy and help when needed. Everside Health can be your partner in promoting mental health and well-being in your organization. We recognize that you play an essential role in fostering a healthier workplace, and facilitating easy access to quality mental health resources is a big part of this.

Learn more about the wealth of benefits Advanced Primary Care from Everside Health offers today. We can help you enhance your healthcare benefits to ensure better outcomes while lowering your total cost of care. 

Download addresrsing the mental healthcare crisis through primary care ebook