Coronavirus resource spotlight: Employer mental health guide

The Business Group on Health’s new tool aims to help HR and benefit leaders at global organizations develop and implement mental health programs.
By: | May 27, 2020 • 3 min read

Here’s a look at a guide that helps HR leaders develop and implement mental health programs for their employees.

What it is: The Business Group on Health’s Global Mental Health Guide for Employers

The nonprofit organization’s new guide—called “Addressing Mental Health from a Global and Local Perspective”—aims to help HR and benefit leaders at global organizations develop and implement mental health programs for their employees and families.

It provides examples of tools and ideas that multinational employers are implementing in countries around the world. Some of these initiatives are targeted to key mental health needs such as educating employees about mental health disorders; addressing stigma through the use of testimonials and storytelling; providing access to mental health services; training managers on how to address mental health issues; and leveraging workplace champions and national campaigns.


It is free and can be downloaded here.

Why it’s helpful: Mental health initiatives are perhaps more important than ever given the COVID-19 pandemic, but developing and rolling out programs is often a difficult task for employers. The guide helps HR managers put the right programs in place at every level, says Ellen Kelsay, president and CEO of Business Group on Health.

“We believe this groundbreaking resource will provide multinational employers and their HR managers the tools and resources they need to make sure mental health initiatives and strategies are effective at the country, city and local levels,” Kelsay says.

RelatedIs COVID-19 a turning point for workplace mental health?

Other insights: Addressing mental health issues locally can be one of the most difficult challenges for global organizations, says Kathleen O’Driscoll, vice president of the Business Group on Health. “It is often difficult for the corporate office to understand the nuances that take place at the local level,” she says. “These nuances are particularly important for mental health, where misunderstandings and fears are abundant. That’s one of the reasons we developed this guide—to provide global organizations with a country framework to address issues like mental health access, quality, cost and stigma that allows for a ‘glocal’ approach, one in which there is a global strategy that is highly locally relevant.”


For more free benefits resources, check out this list from HRE.

Kathryn Mayer is HRE’s benefits editor and chair of the Health & Benefits Leadership Conference. She has covered benefits for the better part of a decade, and her stories have won multiple awards, including a Jesse H. Neal Award and honors from the American Society of Business Publication Editors and the National Federation of Press Women. She holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Denver. She can be reached at

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