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    April 22, 2022

    Prioritizing Employee Mental Health - Resources and DE&I Mental Health

    Maybe your company is dealing with microaggressions. Or maybe it’s incidents of racism, misogyny, ageism, or even violence in the workplace that need to be addressed. Having resources available that specifically address different types of mental health and wellbeing challenges and groups of people can make a positive difference.  

    Mental health and mental wellbeing in your workplace should be deeply connected to diversity and inclusion initiatives and programming. There are a few forward thinking organizations that are making that connection and have made progress in creating a true culture of mental wellbeing. You can too. One of the keys to their success is getting the right mental health and wellbeing benefits and resources for the different demographics in your company. 

    What You Can Do

    Employees with mental health conditions want to feel like they’re seen and understood. Mental health can be particularly difficult to discuss in communities of color, within the LGBTQIA+ population, and among women, who face additional cultural stigmas, biases, and, in many cases, lack of access to important mental health resources and care.

    • It’s important to have ongoing companywide communications on mental health and wellbeing to normalize conversations around mental health. Make sure you are sharing the company’s view on getting help and the benefits provided more than a once-a-year. Your employees need to be reminded that they are available so they know when to use them and how to access them.
    • Consider a multipronged approach to sharing information that is specific to different needs and backgrounds of your diverse workforce. If you have a wellness champions network, they can be an integral part of the solution. They can be additional voices throughout the organization to get people to resources. They can also provide needed feedback in real time to make your mental health initiatives more successful.
    • Make sure managers at all levels have had some training on how to best approach a situation with an employee dealing with a mental health challenge and that they know about company vetted resources. IMPORTANT: Your team leaders and managers should understand how to have these types of discussions, but clearly understand that they cannot give any medical advice.

    Depending on the demographics of your organization, you can use these and many other targeted resources to address mental health stigma to make sure your employees have the information they need. It also means they have access to mental health providers that understand them and that they feel comfortable using.

    • Think creatively with how you get the word out on resources.  
    • Get your unofficial leaders in different demographic groups involved.  
    • If one of your senior leaders has their own story about mental health and wellbeing, see if that person would be willing to share it. It could be as simple as recording it on a smart phone and posting it where employees go regularly for HR information.


    Local Resources: You should also take the time to find out about local resources. Your local county or community Chamber of Commerce may have a list of resources you can use. Your local hospital network may also have mental health services that could benefit your employees. As with any resource, make sure the provider is reputable, you take the time to vet it, and they have licensed and trained professionals on staff.

    By connecting your diversity and inclusion strategy to mental health and wellbeing, you’ll be sending a clear message to your employees about your commitment to respecting diversity and providing equitable mental health treatment for everyone in your company.

    Do you need help with your mental health and wellbeing strategy, including communications Wellness Concepts can help you refine your approach so you have a healthier, more engaged workforce.


    Resources Available for Your Workforce Beyond Your EAP

    Minority and Faith Based Mental Health





    LGBTQIA+ Community

    • LGBT National Hotline is for people of all ages and offers a confidential, anonymous place to talk about issues including coming out, identity, bullying, safe sex, anxiety, and other concerns.
    • Crisis Text Line. Text LGBTQ to 741-741 will connect you to a crisis counselor who can offer support. This resource is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
    • Trans Lifeline is a service devoted to offering care and support to transgender people. It provides peer support from a place of experience since the organization is staffed by trans individuals.


    People with Disabilities

    • American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD). This is the largest national nonprofit cross-disability member organization in the U.S. dedicated to ensuring economic self-sufficiency and political empowerment for the more than 56 million Americans with disabilities.
    • Employer Assistance and Resources Network (EARN) on Disability Inclusion. EARN provides resources for employment seekers and job training for those looking to gain and build skills necessary to succeed in the workforce.
    • Financial Assistance and Support Services for People with Disabilities. This government listing provides resources on a wide range of tools for people with disabilities to apply for financial assistance with medical treatment, as well as housing resources and tax help.


    Addiction/Recovery Resources

    • Al-Anon and Ala-teen Information Phone: 1-888-425-2666 Counselors provide support to adolescents and adults adversely affected by addiction and offer group therapy resources for ongoing support.
    • SAMHSA National Helpline: 1-800-662-4357 English / Spanish-speaking counselors facilitate referrals to treatment centers, support groups, and community services.
    • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255 Call this hotline in times of crisis and they can help talk you through issues and refer local treatment centers that may be able to provide further care. En Espanol: 1-888-628-9454


    Domestic Violence

    • National Domestic Violence Hotline: Call or Text “Start” to 1-800-799-SAFE (7233)
    • Caminar Latino: A nonprofit organization that works to help Latino men and women change their lives and prevent violence in their families.
    • Futures Without Violence: A nonprofit working to heal people who are traumatized by violence and create healthy families that are free of violence.

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