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Workplace Mental Health: How Can Business Owners Support Employees?

Employee mental health has always been an issue that employers should focus on since ALL employees have a mental health status (not just those with a formal diagnosis). However, since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, mental health has become an even more important issue to address.

Many employers have struggled with increased requests for reasonable accommodations, absenteeism and burnout, and requests for flexible scheduling.

Clearly there’s a problem….but what’s the solution?

While there isn’t a “one thing fixes all” remedy, there are many things employers can do to improve workplace mental health support. Below we’ve outlined the 4 A’s of Workplace Mental Health and provided some examples of things employers can do to support their employees:



Awareness is the first category of mental health support within an organization. It speaks to the general mental health knowledge employees have so they’re able to better identify their needs.

When considering mental health awareness within your organization, think about things like:

  • Mental health education for employees, including symptoms or signs to look for and ways to get help.

  • Reducing or removing the stigma that may surround mental health within your organization

  • Providing individuals in management or supervisory roles with additional training and education related to supporting direct reports who may be experiencing mental health struggles.

Increasing awareness throughout your organization is the first step toward building a workplace that is supportive of mental health.



Accommodation is the second category to focus on when creating a workplace that is supportive of its employees’ mental health. Reasonable accommodations, as part of the Americans with Disabilities Act, are defined as “changes to the work environment or job duties to eliminate barriers that keep an individual from being able to perform the essential functions of the job.”

When it comes to reasonable accommodations for mental health, considering the following types of supports:

  • Scheduling - offer alternate schedules or flexible scheduling to employees as necessary and appropriate.

  • Environment - removal of distractions, private workspaces, allowing soothing/soft music, or lighting changes.

  • Equipment - technological devices provided, sound machines, software, increased training

  • Responsibilities - reduced tasks (removing non-essential tasks), altered timelines, or breaking large projects/assignments into smaller, more manageable tasks.

The accommodations listed above are just some of the ways your organization can increase support in order to improve workplace mental health.



The third category of mental health support within an organization is Assistance.

Regardless of their current state of mental health, all employees can benefit from practices and policies that support positive mental health. To help employees improve their mental health, organizations should consider things like:

  • Fitness - Provide discounted or free memberships to local gyms, or grant employees access to fitness opportunities at work.

  • Mindfulness/stress-relief - Embed mindfulness or stress management techniques into the workday.

  • Flexibility - Offer employees things like flexible scheduling or flexible workspaces so that employees are able to choose what works best for them from a list of provided options.

Ensuring that your organization is providing sufficient assistance to its employees is important.



Access is the fourth and final category of mental health support within an organization. This category speaks to ways an organization can ensure appropriate mental health support is available to all employees.

To guarantee access, employers should do things like:

  • Provide all employees with mental health services coverage as part of their benefits package. This can include seeking medical help for diagnosed mental illness and covering prescription medications, along with other mental health services like therapy.

  • Inform employees of their ability to take job-protected time off work due to reasons related to mental health and/or substance abuse.

  • Provide access to Employee Assistance Programs

Giving employees appropriate access to resources is an important part of creating a workplace that is supportive of its employees mental health.


When these four areas of mental health support are addressed, employees won’t be the only people within the organization reaping the benefits; the organizations themselves experience benefits too. Some of the most common benefits are:

  • A decline in absenteeism and burnout

  • Decreased health insurance costs

  • Increased employee retention

  • Decreased liability

How does your organization measure up? What supports are in place and where could support be added or improved?

This might seem like an overwhelming task, but don’t worry. We’ve got you covered.

Click Here to access our FREE Workplace Mental Health Survey. Simply make a copy, do any customizing you might need for your organization, and send it out to your employees. This anonymous survey will help you collect informative data so you know what you’re doing well and where you should focus your efforts for improvement.

Not sure what to do with that data once you’ve collected it? Don’t worry– we’ve got you covered with that, too! We can help you analyze your data, identify the area(s) where improvement is needed most, and implement strategies to meet your employees needs. Contact Cause Capacity today to get started!


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