As most members of Generation X know, mental health was rarely discussed or properly addressed by the generation that raised us. Sometimes considered impolite and taboo, it was often ignored, leaving those struggling with it to solve it on their own. I’ve seen this continue to be true in the nonprofit industry where primary focus is on the well-being of the communities they serve rather than the mental health of those at the front line.

A study by the World Health Organization revealed that reduced productivity due to depression and anxiety will cost the global economy $1 trillion each year. In the nonprofit industry, employees often face personal high levels of stress and burnout while trying to provide support to those that they’re serving. Over 60% of employees surveyed reported that their productivity at work is affected by their mental health. In fact, 38 independent studies have demonstrated a link between poor employee mental health and reduced productivity. In those same studies, research suggests that productivity can be improved by implementing mental health support programs and policies at the employer level.

More than 65% of employers agree that whole person health is important, and that mental well-being is an integral part of their workforce strategy, especially when considering mental health benefits rank as the second most common reason for job switches. A whopping 73% of employees say they would be inclined to stay at a company who offers ample mental health support for example.

Successful nonprofit organizations prioritize mental health support in their benefit strategy. Employers can address mental health with a standalone EAP program, working with a third-party mental health vendor to address underlying issues through a data driven strategy or implementing mental health first aid training.

Please contact me if you’d like to discuss how your nonprofit organization can better address Whole Person Health.

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