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How to Advocate for Better Mental Health Services at Work

Herrick Lipton gives tips for employees.

By Herrick LiptonPublished 3 days ago 3 min read
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Work can be a double-edged sword for our mental health. While it provides people with purpose and social interaction, it can also be a source of stress, anxiety, and burnout. In modern-day America, prioritizing mental wellbeing at work is no longer a perk; it's a necessity.

But how do we create a workplace that actively supports its employees' mental health in a culture that worships deadlines and busy lifestyles?

If you're looking to dive into this subject at work, here are some actionable steps you can take to advocate for better mental health services at your company.

1. Gather Information and Build Allies

Knowledge is power. Research existing mental health resources offered by your company, such as Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs) or health insurance benefits. Are they accessible and well-promoted? Having the proper knowledge about what your company offers is the first step in making change.

Talking to colleagues can gauge the overall sentiment towards mental health at your workplace. Are people comfortable discussing stress or taking mental health days? Building alliances with like-minded colleagues strengthens your voice and creates a support network. Through doing so, you can bring more voices and experiences to your cause and gain a better understanding of what policies should be in place to best benefit your team members.

2. Focus on Facts and Benefits

When advocating for change, frame your arguments around the positive impact on the company. When advocating for and presenting this case to the proper individuals, they will likely also have a focus on the company's success and will want to see how a proposed policy could benefit both parties.

Studies show a clear link between employee mental health and productivity, reduced absenteeism and improved overall morale. By highlighting these benefits, it will demonstrate that investing in mental health services isn't just the right thing to do but is also good for business in the long term.

3. Propose Solutions, Not Just Problems

When presenting the gaps in mental health services, you want to be careful to frame it in a positive way. Instead of simply focusing on the lack of support, you want to enter the conversation with potential solutions.

Preparation is key for these conversations. Prior to presenting your case, research best practices for workplace mental health initiatives. This could include offering stress management mindfulness techniques workshops or creating a relaxing break room. Explore partnerships with local mental health organizations providing talks or discounted employee services.

When you come to your conversation with these solutions in mind, you'll be more likely to have your concerns validated and seriously considered.

4. Start Small and Build Momentum

Significant changes often start with small steps. Suggesting a company-sponsored yoga session or a mental health awareness week are achievable goals to build momentum. Success with smaller initiatives demonstrates the value of investing in mental health and paves the way for advocating for more comprehensive programs.

Additionally, when your organization begins to see the positive impacts of these smaller initiatives, they'll begin to feel more inclined to implement larger initiatives.

5. Leverage Existing Channels and Be Persistent

Many companies have suggestion boxes or employee surveys. Utilize these channels to voice your concerns and propose solutions. Be persistent and polite, and follow up on your suggestions.

Organizations also have an HR team for a reason. Feel free to leverage their leadership team and feedback opportunities to present any concerns or suggestions.

Advocating for better mental health services is an ongoing process. By following through with these tips, you can create a positive shift in your workplace culture, making it a healthier and happier environment for everyone.

About the Author: Herrick Lipton

Herrick Lipton is the CEO of New Horizon Counseling Center, a licensed nonprofit behavioral healthcare organization located in New York. He has built an impactful career out of treating patients' immediate needs and focusing on initiatives that bring long-term improvements and help individuals feel at home in their communities.

Learn more at his site, and stay updated with his latest posts on Wordpress!

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About the Creator

Herrick Lipton

Herrick Lipton is the CEO of New Horizon Counseling Center, a licensed nonprofit behavioral healthcare organization in New York.

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