Execs say they’ve expanded mental health benefits—but there’s still more to do

Despite more companies offering mental health resources to employees, workers’ mental health remains rocky. Here are some resources that HR leaders can use to help employees.

Companies are trying, but workers’ mental health is still suffering.

Some 64% of executives “say they’ve expanded or plan to expand mental health benefits, a slight increase” from 60% in 2022, according to a recent PwC survey of more than 600 US business leaders. And yet, more than a third of 1,100+ US workers who responded to a Conference Board survey in May reported that their mental health had worsened in the previous six months.

HR leaders have a strategic role in helping employees combat mental health-related issues, and there’s no need to reinvent the wheel—there are resources already out there to help workers.

Department of Labor. Recently, the DOL launched an online resource to help employers support their employees’ mental health. The website includes guides to insurance-covered treatments, including for substance abuse; hotlines to call during an immediate crisis; and information on employees’ legal rights to mental health resources.

“Work is about more than wages. It’s also about a sense of purpose, meaning and belonging. I’m committed to creating an inclusive workplace culture, not only within the department’s already diverse workforce, but in the nation’s workforce as well,” Julie A. Su, acting secretary of labor, said in a recent post on the DOL website.

Assessment and calculators. The American Psychiatric Association’s Center for Workplace Mental Health offers a depression calculator that employers can use to better understand how much depression might be costing their org.

HR pros can also conduct employee surveys. The Center for Health Solutions of the Institute for Clinical Research and Health Policy Studies at Tufts Medical Center offers one that can help assess what’s limiting employees, while the American Institute of Stress offers a workplace stress scale that ranks employees’ stress from “chilled out and relatively calm” to “stress level is potentially dangerous.”

Stay in the know. HR pros can keep current by following mental health-related news from organizations like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the American Medical Association, and KFF Health News.

No matter how informed HR reps may be, it can still be hard to know how to talk with employees about mental health. The APA’s Center for Workplace Mental Health also offers online training to teach leaders to identify and discuss mental health issues.


Photo by Vie Studio

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ByMikaela Cohen