How do we create a safe workplace where people feel comfortable talking about personal struggles and mental health? There are no easy answers, but the pandemic forced companies to consider the mental health of workers because it was obvious people weren’t doing well.

Dawn Ellery, CEBS is a mental health and well-being champion, speaker, and Human Resources Total Rewards leader working to reduce the stigma around mental health, and open eyes to the complete person walking into work.

In this episode of Evolving Working, empowerment expert Susan Eckstein and I got a peek behind the HR curtain and learned:

  • Talking about mental health with another HR professional can be a difficult experience
  • Some professionals would rather be performance managed out than talk about their ugly divorce or abusive home environment
  • Managers aren’t trained on how to have these kinds of difficult conversations
  • Sharing your personal challenges and history of depression with a group who knows you can lead to 30% of the people asking for help or information

Companies have become accustomed to supporting employees with physical health benefits and financial knowledge and training. Mental health is the next step. There is substantial ROI for investing in high-quality mental health programs. Ellery says there is a $5 dollar return for every dollar spent.

I saw a study in the UK where above-average mental health programs and support yield 11 additional productive days per employee – that’s over two weeks!

And then there is the potential bonus of decreased turnover.

Learn more about Dawn Ellery here
Learn more about Susan Eckstein here
Learn more about Catherine Morgan here


Photo by Tengyart on Unsplash