May is Mental Health Awareness month. Mental health has become a large focus for organizations the past couple years due to the pandemic. Showing support and providing the proper benefits both on and off the job for your employees is more critical now than ever. It’s essential for HR professionals to evaluate their employer-provided plans to ensure they’re prioritizing mental health as it will be crucial for employee retention and will help companies stand out.

The pandemic has pushed employers to recognize the mental heath challenges within their workplaces. With employees working from their homes and missing the social interaction among teams and coworkers, 47% of adults said their mental health declined compared to the onset of the pandemic. Many employers are looking at ways to address how they make mental health a permanent aspect of their benefit offerings moving forward. Showing support for emotional and physical wellness will help companies attract and retain talent in the future because of the increased appreciation for their employees.

However, there continues to be a significant gap between the utilization of mental health tools and the awareness of leadership and employees. Currently, 94% of employers think they’re doing enough to support mental health, but only 69% of employees believe their workplace is doing enough to support mental health. HR professionals will need to be strategic with implementing resources to make sure they are appropriately responding to their employees’ needs.

Companies are continuing to invest in their wellness programs and encourage employee participation. 70% of respondents said mental health is the most important benefit for them beyond traditional health insurance . Providing telehealth services within your organization can be helpful for employees to schedule a call or visit with a therapist whenever they need to talk to someone. Employers should also look into hosting a Mental Health First Aid training for HR teams and managers, so they know how to identify mental health issues within their workplace. This will allow companies to best be equipped with any tools they need to help with their employees.

With companies still trying to figure out the future, it’s essential to start now and work towards creating a safe environment. Creating programs that support your employees and their mental health will help with attracting and retaining talent for your organization. Reducing the stigma of mental health will remain a priority in the future. Take this month to look at your benefits and see where you can provide more support for your employees and their mental health.

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