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Why Supporting Mental Health is Key to Business Success

The Cariloop Team | May 16, 2024

May is Mental Health Awareness Month, which gives employers a unique opportunity to reassess and elevate strategies for addressing their workforce’s mental health needs.  With more than 3 out of 4 of workers reporting being stressed at work and nearly 60% experiencing negative impacts such as burnout, it’s more important than ever to put mental well-being first.

The Mental Health Landscape in the Workplace

Cariloop provides support, education and guidance to members across hundreds of caregiving needs daily. In researching our members’ most common needs, we found a significant rise in mental health requests within our Caregiver Support Platform in 2024, with common concerns including:

  • Anxiety and Depression – Affecting nearly 25% of the workforce at some point, diagnosed anxiety and depression are the most common mental health challenges that significantly hinder employee productivity and well-being.
  • Coping with Terminal Illness or Cancer Diagnosis – Receiving a grave diagnosis is overwhelmingly stressful, impacting not just the individual but their entire support network. Their life is changed forever, and finding and adjusting to a new routine is difficult. 
  • Grief and Loss – Coping with loss—personal or professional—requires substantial emotional support, which if unaddressed, can lead to prolonged distress after the typical bereavement period.
  • Substance Use Disorder – This remains a critical concern, with about 70% of adults with substance use disorders continuing to maintain employment.

Many, if not all, of these common mental health needs come about as an employee is navigating other challenges in their life. These needs often intersect with personal life stresses, caregiving responsibilities or workplace issues, which amplifies the need for a multifaceted, comprehensive support approach.

What Employers Can Do

Understanding and addressing the broad spectrum of factors that influence mental health is key to developing effective support systems within the workplace. Here are some strategic approaches:

  • Creating a Culture of Support – Foster an environment where mental health is openly discussed and supported. This can include regular mental health days, workshops or wellness activities. Also, consider offering services that address employee needs on a broad spectrum. 
  • Leader Stories – Encourage managers, executives and other leaders in your organization to share their mental health and caregiving journeys. Lead by example so every employee feels empowered to share their story and get support at work. 
  • Manager Training – Equip managers with the skills to recognize signs of mental distress and to respond appropriately. Train them to provide support without stigma, ensuring employees feel safe seeking help.
  • Support for Caregivers – Comprehensive mental health support must go beyond access to counselors and providers, as more than 70% of your workforce has caregiving responsibilities that exacerbate stress. Benefits supporting caregiving needs alleviate some of this pressure, thereby improving their overall well-being and work performance.

Employers have a crucial role in shaping the mental health landscape of their workplaces. By implementing empathetic and proactive support strategies, companies not only enhance the well-being of their employees but also boost overall organizational health and productivity. This Mental Health Awareness Month, commit to making lasting changes by comprehensively supporting your most valuable asset—your people.

Partner with Cariloop to elevate your mental health strategy. Contact us to develop a tailored approach that meets your organization’s needs for mental health and beyond. 

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