May is Mental Health Awareness Month and it’s no secret that the emphasis on mental health awareness in the workplace has heightened in the past few years.

According to USA Today, mental illness affects more than 50 million Americans. Yet, despite the overwhelming number of those suffering from a mental illness, an incredible amount go untreated. In fact – over half of adults with a mental illness do not receive treatment, adding up to over 28 million Americans.

With this alarming trend of untreated mental health disorders, we’ll take a look at how employers are deploying tools and resources to address these issues and improve overall employee health and wellness in the workplace.

Maximizing Utilization of Mental Health Programs and Resources

A major hurdle many HR and benefits teams face when introducing these mental health programs and resources is a lack of utilization. But not to worry – there are many ways to increase overall knowledge and usage of these tools and resources.

First, increase communication to encourage year-round engagement. Things like customized video communications that highlight mental health benefits and resources go a long way in increasing visibility and utilization of these types of programs.

Next, bolster your internal communications campaigns with a multi-medium approach. It’s no secret everyone processes information differently. In today’s world, digital communication is necessary to get through to your audience. Customized video communications, microsites, text message campaigns and even mail-home flyers with QR codes help reach your employees wherever they are, regardless of how they best consume information.

Finally, be crisp and concise with your messaging. No matter how you communicate, today’s workforce often doesn’t have much time between meetings, calls, personal and family matters to study-up on the latest in employee benefits trends. Short, concise video messaging is incredibly valuable and encourages employees to remain engaged with their benefits throughout the year.

Now – let’s dive into the latest benefits trends we’re seeing in the mental health and wellbeing space.

Mental Health and Therapy

Mental health therapy benefits like BetterHelp and Daylight provide employees an outlet to speak to someone who can coach them through difficult events and times in life. Licensed providers are available at the touch of a button to cover a range of specialties that meet your workforce’s specific needs. Whether it’s individual coaching, couples counseling, or even help for dependent teenage children, help is out there and your benefits offering can be the olive branch that makes the difference in your employee’s lives.

Employee Assistance Programs

A large number of employers offer Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs) to address a wide variety of mental and emotional health issues.

According to research performed by SHRM, 79% of surveyed employers offered some sort of EAP to their employees.

These programs focus on many mental health concerns. From alcohol and substance abuse issues to personal and family issues like stress, anxiety, grief and psychological disorders. Another great perk of an EAP is that these programs are usually free to the employee and their dependents, providing support for a broad and complex body of issues at no cost to the employee.

Employee Wellness Programs and Incentives

In partnership with medical carriers, many employers offer employee wellness programs to incentivize employees to take charge of their overall health – including mental health. Although these programs generally aim at improving and promoting physical health and wellness, many employers and health plans have pivoted to include mental wellness in their wellness programs as well.

Tools and resources like inpatient care management, emotional well-being platforms like Unmind, and lifestyle management programs are available through these wellness programs. These employee wellness programs and incentives work to destigmatize mental health, identify mental health needs and provide healthy outlets to cope with these issues.

Promoting a Culture of Overall Wellness

Another creative option employers are using are promoting a culture of overall wellness in the workplace with employee incentives and rewards. Techniques like gym membership discounts, healthy physical activity competitions, and even sleep challenges that help employees meet their sleep goals can foster an improved sense of overall wellness that goes beyond just physical well-being.

Financial wellness also plays a critical role in anyone’s overall mental health. With almost half of people in problem debt also having a mental health problem – it’s clear that financial well-being is important to our mental well-being and must be at the forefront of any successful benefits strategy.

MuleTown Media helps HR, Benefits and Marketing teams streamline communication with the power of video. Our stable of award-winning creatives have been providing innovative solutions and making meaningful impacts for over 15 years. Contact us today to discuss how we can partner together to ease your burden and make a valuable impact at your organization.