AwareNow: Issue 28: The Mental Edition

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“It’s critical that companies and business recognize that mental health is just as important as physical health.” Managers and executive teams have the capability to support their employees with understanding, care, and empathy. By providing safe environments to discuss, educate, and promote mental health and wellness, managers can cultivate the kind of work culture that can have a positive impact on a number of important organizational issues, including employee retention and engagement, staff morale, and the recruitment of top talent.

We are entering a very interesting period of this pandemic, where the adrenaline and fear have worn off and the crisis is subsiding. However, a number of challenges remain. As professionals begin to work out new flexible work options and return to the office, leaders have an opportunity to be more proactive moving forward when it comes to mental health and wellness. There are several ways organizations can help with this transition that also support employee mental health. Here are just a few helpful strategies:

• • • • • • •

Check-in and listen (regularly)

Practice gratitude

Create no-meeting days

Encourage self-care breaks

Celebrate small wins together

Make it OK to talk about feelings and uncertainty

Recognize and reward good work

It's critical that companies and business recognize that mental health is just as important as physical health. Those who invest and prioritize mental health, wellness and self-care can create a healthier work culture for their employees.

There is a clear business case to be made for the corporate sector to promote and invest in mental health awareness and self-care with their employees. Many Fortune 500 companies have started to implement efforts to attract top talent and improve the overall employee experience. By shining a light on the alarming economic cost of mental illness, research groups have encouraged those in the corporate sector to be more proactive and implement policies that can better support their employees' overall mental health and wellbeing.

May is Mental Health Awareness Month. Please take the time to share mental health resources, observe mental health specific calendar days, and share your story when you are ready. I would like to take this opportunity to express my gratitude to all the mental health professionals, care givers, and advocates out there who support and champion the millions of people suffering from mental illness and addiction every day. ∎

This article is dedicated to all my behavioral health colleagues - your efforts, work ethic, and kindness are seldom recognized but - to so many who suffer or in recovery - you are heroes!

Ian Adair has spent a career building successful nonprofits. A three time nonprofit CEO and TEDx Speaker, he is a recognized as an expert in leadership, fundraising, and nonprofit management. Ian is a speaker, author, and advocate concerning mental health awareness and addressing mental health in the workplace. He is author of the book, Stronger Than Stigma, A Call To Action: Stories of Grief, Loss, and Inspiration! Ian is the Executive Director of the Gracepoint Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Gracepoint one of the largest behavioral health organizations in the state of Florida. Gracepoint impacts the lives of more than 30,000 individuals each year, seeking mental health, medical, and addiction services in the greater Tampa Bay area. To learn more, visit: