Nearly 1 in 5 Americans may experience some form of mental health condition each year. For many of these individuals (and many without mental health conditions), work is key to their health, contributing to a sense of purpose and wellbeing. This is why it's important that employers understand how to foster a mental health-friendly work culture.
Employees are not the only ones to benefit from such a work culture. Workplace practices inclusive of people with disabilities—whether obvious or not—can deliver numerous bottom-line advantages, including greater productivity, reduced insurance costs, and improved employee retention and morale. Sending a clear message about a company's commitment to an inclusive and equitable workplace has many benefits, especially to federal contractors covered by Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act seeking to encourage employees and applicants with mental health conditions to self-identify as people with disabilities.
A number of resources are available to help ensure that disability-related policies and practices in the workplace consider the needs of people with mental health conditions.
One key resource is ODEP’s one-page guide for “Fostering a Mentally Healthy Workplace.”
Discover additional resources that will help you foster mental health-friendly work cultures whether you are an employer, individual, service provider, policymaker or youth/young adult.