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3 Ways Businesses Can Prioritize Mental Health in the Workplace

Mental Health Blog AffinityFCU
Strategies to Make Financial Life Easier Affinity FCU Blog
By: Pam Cohen
Senior Vice President of People, Culture and Administration

Date: February 14, 2023

Mental healthcare has become more of a priority in the workplace and a less sensitive topic to discuss among peers since the COVID-19 pandemic began a few years ago. Businesses are doing more to provide for the personal wellbeing of employees, as is evident in a recent survey by the American Psychological Association[1], showing 71% of respondents feel their employer is more concerned about their mental health compared to the past. Affinity has implemented a handful of mental health services for employees including assistance programs and counseling covered by our health provider. Here are three ways employees and business owners can work to improve mental health in their workplaces.

1. Make mental healthcare a topic of conversation

As a longtime human resources executive, I’ve seen the effect personal issues can have on employees. They may not be able to put their best foot forward in their day-to-day work, which could have a trickledown effect on their colleagues and members they serve. If an employee is struggling, managers should consider having a conversation with the person, not because it’s in their job description but to show they care. This is a great opportunity to discuss mental health services offered by their company that are at the person’s disposal. These may include programs available through the company’s insurance provider or other third-party partnerships. If a leader makes themself available and open to helping an employee with their mental health, they’ll notice increases in the employee’s production, loyalty to the organization and services they provide to the customer or member. To see someone, go from struggling to thriving is a beautiful thing to watch and to be able to help them on that journey is a gift.

2. Improve the workplace culture

The best thing any organization can do to show they care about the mental health of their staff is to make their workplace culture the best it can be. Make it psychologically safe for employees to ask for help and let them know it’s okay to come forward by removing any stigma about discussing mental wellbeing. This is achievable through internal communications and establishing employee programs and benefits and putting words into actions.

Executive and leadership teams play a pivotal role in establishing a company culture by holding themselves accountable for fostering a psychologically safe workplace – a judgment free environment where their peers can feel comfortable to ask for help.

3. Set boundaries and take advantage of employee programs

There are a multitude of ways employees can help manage their work-related stress. Set boundaries when it comes to the workday. If afforded an hour lunch break, use that time to eat and unwind– meditate, exercise, utilize the employee programs or speak with a mental health professional. Everyone manages stress differently, so understanding what brings peace during a typical workday is critical.

Affinity prides itself on prioritizing wellbeing – both for our members, through the services we offer and interactions we have with them, and for our employees. I believe mental health is at the core of each facet of wellbeing. Remember– if someone is in a positive headspace, they can thrive in every other element of their life. However, if someone is struggling, they may have a tough time managing their day to day lives, including being a contributing member to their team at work. Business owners and managers should remove any workplace stigmas about mental health and make their work environment healthy and safe, showing their employees that they care about their wellbeing.

 This information is for informational purposes only and is intended to provide general guidance and does not constitute legal, tax, or financial advice. Each person’s circumstances are different and may not apply to the specific information provided. You should seek the advice of a financial professional, tax consultant, and/or legal counsel to discuss your specific needs before making any financial or other commitments.

[1] Retrieved from: