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Coronavirus resource spotlight: Mental health and wellness guide

A new guide contains resources and tools aimed at addressing mental health and workplace wellness issues in an evidence-based way.
By: | July 21, 2020 • 3 min read

Here’s a look at a guide that aims to help HR professionals address employees’ mental health issues as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

What it is: Mental Health and Wellness in the Workplace from the SHRM Foundation, One Mind at Work and Psych Hub

It’s an initiative to “engage HR professionals in education and training opportunities to lead mental health and wellness change in the workplace,” the groups say. The initiative aims to promote a culture of acceptance around returning to the workplace and rising mental health issues resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Essentially, the tool provides resources and materials to a handful of companies for employers to consider. The guide will continue to expand its membership to add partners that can contribute to the resources available on the workplace wellness resource center.

More information can be found here.

Why it’s helpful: Recent SHRM research found that 41% of employees feel burnt out, drained or exhausted from their work. Additionally, nearly one in four employees reports frequently feeling down, depressed or hopeless—yet more than one in three employees reported having done nothing to cope with these feelings.

“It is critical to provide timely resources so workers feel safe, secure and supported while continuing to reduce the mental health stigma in the workplace.” – Wendi Safstrom

Having the right resources and programs in place for employees is essential, mental health advocates say. The new guide “increases access to actionable tools and continues the critical conversation around mental health at work.”

“We’ve compiled a number of resources and tools to address some of the most common mental health and workplace wellness issues in an evidence-based way,” says Marjorie Morrison, CEO and cofounder of Psych Hub. “Employers have a responsibility to care for their workers, whether they share a physical office or work remotely. The initiative gives employers access to trustworthy resources to ensure that we’re doing our part to mitigate mental health issues and support wellbeing.”

Related: Is COVID-19 a turning point for workplace mental health?

Other insights: The coronavirus pandemic is pushing more employers to address and roll out programs and benefits to help. Meanwhile, organizations, vendors and other groups are introducing mental health resources, from guides to apps, in response.

The Business Group on Health recently released a guide 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. The Northeast Business Group on Health and One Mind PsyberGuide released an  employer guide that provides HR and benefits leaders with information to assess and select digital mental health solutions for their employees. The guide includes two dozen mental health digital solutions and their key features, including what conditions each tool targets (stress, depression and anxiety, for example) and the types of interventions it offers (like coaching, mindfulness meditation or clinical therapy).

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Related: Is COVID-19 a turning point for workplace mental health?

Wendi Safstrom, executive director of the SHRM Foundation, says that HR professionals should be leaders in helping employers and employees manage the mental toll of COVID-19.

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“As the nation, and the world, returns to the workplace in phases, it is critical to provide timely resources so workers feel safe, secure and supported while continuing to reduce the mental health stigma in the workplace,” she says.

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 kmayer@lrp.com.

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