How Your Business Can Contribute to Mental Health Awareness Month

The United States has participated in Mental Health Awareness Month since 1949. Each May, we come together as a nation to raise mental health awareness and break down the stigmas and stereotypes surrounding mental illness. Mental health awareness and care have come a long way since Mental Health Awareness Month was first observed, but there’s always more work to be done.

Supportive workplace

As a business owner, there’s a lot you can do to promote Mental Health Awareness Month. You have influence and a platform you can use for good. Here are just some of the ways your business can contribute positively to Mental Health Awareness Month.

Creating a Supportive Workplace Culture

If you employ people, then it’s your job to create a healthy and supportive work environment. This is important at all times of the year, but Mental Health Awareness Month offers a convenient starting point for opening up a dialogue about mental health in the workplace.

People need to feel safe at work. To feel safe, they need to know that they won’t be judged or punished for their mental health status. Creating policies for your business that support employees in their mental health and help them feel safer at work is a great place to start.

It’s also important to instill these values in any managers you hire. Not everyone knows how to have an open and respectful dialogue about mental health, let alone how to support people who might be struggling. Proper training can help ensure that supervisors are respectful and supportive of employees’ needs.

Promoting Employee Well-Being

Mental health requires ongoing maintenance, but many people don’t feel comfortable tending to their own mental health when work demands feel overwhelming. Unfortunately, this is often when people need to take a step back and prioritize their well-being.

As an employer, you can help to promote good well-being among your employees in several ways. First, one of the most powerful things you can do is to provide some flexibility in your employees’ work arrangements. Now that remote work is so much easier to arrange for most organizations, adding some flexibility isn’t too difficult. More flexibility can allow employees to have a better work-life balance, work when they’re most productive, and feel supported.

Another way to help employees with their well-being, especially during Mental Health Awareness Month, is to promote stress management techniques and encourage your employees to prioritize their mental health. Don’t reward people for working themselves to death. Encourage them to take breaks, log off at night, and honor what their minds need to stay healthy.

Finally, offering employee assistance plans (EAPs) if you can is a great way to help the people who are helping you to build your business. These plans typically offer short-term counseling for employees who are struggling, and they can make a big difference in people’s lives.

Raising Awareness Within the Organization

Some people within your organization might not know how widespread mental illness is, or the many ways it can affect someone’s life. One important component of breaking down the stigma of mental illness is understanding that it’s something that can affect anyone and that it has nothing to do with a person’s character or competence.

To raise awareness in the workplace, you have some options. You can organize mental health workshops or training sessions to help employees understand what factors affect mental health and the methods that can help people who are struggling, such as working with a qualified mental health professional.

You can also share educational resources. Help people understand the causes and symptoms of different mental illnesses. Put the spotlight on little-known pioneers of the field of psychology. Encourage your employees to participate in mental health awareness campaigns throughout the month.


photo credit: SupportPDX / Flickr

Supporting Mental Health Initiatives in the Community & Online

As a business owner, you’re an important part of your community. By supporting mental health initiatives in the community and online, you’ll bring positive attention to an issue that is so often ignored and brushed aside.

During Mental Health Awareness Month, you can make a big difference by partnering with mental health organizations, holding fundraisers, or volunteering for mental health initiatives. Getting your employees involved will boost your impact and create even more goodwill within the community.

You can also use social media to build awareness and share resources. Creating content around Mental Health Awareness Month and even during other times of the year, such as Social Work Month, will position you as a leader in the cause of increased mental health awareness and knowledge.

In addition to providing resources, sharing personal stories, and engaging with followers surrounding these topics can be a great way to connect with the greater community.

Mental Health Awareness Month is Just the Beginning

If you take the time to promote mental health awareness in May, why stop there? You can create a better workplace for your employees, engage with the community, and promote better understanding among people by contributing what you can.

Until there is no more shame surrounding mental illness, there is more work to do within the field of mental health. Everyone needs support to maintain their mental health and well-being, and the work you do in your business and community will help spread the word that it’s okay to ask for help when it’s needed.


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