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Addressing the Impact of Mental and Behavioral Health in the Workplace: Webinar Recap

oswaldcompanies May 18, 2023

Mental health has a significant impact on an employee’s ability to do their job to their full potential. Employers are realizing that employees can’t leave their problems at the door and, often, the workplace induces stress.

Oswald convened a panel of experts to discuss why it’s important for employers to take an active role in the mental health of their employees and their covered dependents, and how to do it.

Depression is a common mental health issue that interferes with an employee’s ability to make decisions, arrive on time to work and perform regular job tasks. Treatment can increase medical and insurance costs for the employer, said Kathleen Hathaway, certified nurse practitioner for Everside Health.

However, there are many steps an employer can take to help employees maintain mental health at work and at home, a move that is expected by younger generations of workers, added Dr. Patricia Pechter, chief medical officer at HealthJoy.

As part of the employee benefits package, it’s important to offer virtual care options that can be accessed around the clock, she said. About 80% of Generation Z and 60% of millennials want to improve their mental health, she said.

Front line managers play a large role in maintaining mental health by paying attention to any changes in performance or behavior of their employees, such as not being able to juggle tasks or being more emotional than usual, said Jason Youngblood, senior director of the Well-being Center of Excellence and Behavioral Health at Cigna.

Don’t be afraid to address the issue with the employee and remove the stigma of mental health, which can be done by using person-first language, said Missy Bennett, lead social worker at PeopleOne Health.

For example, note that someone is experiencing depression, not that they are depressed. You would never say someone is cancer, you would note that they have cancer, she said.

Management can encourage employee health by being flexible, engaged and open to hearing employees might not be their best selves today, said Alison Crowe, health management consultant at Oswald.

Allow your employees to take breaks from work throughout the day. Perhaps create a team meeting then surprise them all by saying you set aside this hour for them to do something that recharges their batteries. Encourage me-time.

Instead of another video call, offer to call someone on their cell while they’re taking the dog for a walk.

Oswald can help your company redesign and update its employee benefits to encourage employee health and wellness.

Watch the full webinar to learn more about how you can put your employees on a path to mental fitness. Password: mentalhealth2023!

For more information, contact:

Mark Hinkle
Director, Client Services


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