While workplace wellness programs can be associated with lowering indicators like blood pressure and cholesterol or smoking cessation, they’re far more encompassing. In addition to experiencing death or loss of livelihood, many people experienced social isolation and loneliness for the first time during the pandemic. Others navigated the exacerbation of pre-existing stress and trauma in their homes. These psychologically distressing circumstances cause absenteeism, burnout, and ultimately, productivity loss in the workplace.

A lesson was learned. Well-being is far from purely physical health — mental health resources are vital for a healthy, productive society. Addressing medical and behavioral health cohesively could save the U.S. $37-$67 billion annually. This article discusses why mental wellness is necessary for an organization’s success and how workplace mental health programs help employees manage stressors and triggers.

Importance of Mental Health in the Workplace

With mental and stress-related disorders escalating, organizations are acknowledging the importance of health and well-being in the corporate world. In addition to contributing to lower healthcare costs, addressing mental health strengthens resilience and performance.

Stressors & Triggers

Stress isn’t entirely unavoidable, but if you identify what your workforce struggles with, it can be managed and relieved. Every workplace comes with a unique set of challenges, but some common stressors are:

  • Constant high-intensity atmosphere
  • Lack of managerial/peer support
  • Implied overtime
  • Pressure to avoid PTO
  • Lack of communication (uncertainty)
  • Job insecurity
  • Lack of staffing support
  • Poor financial management

Effects on Mental Health at Work

Unchecked mental health and workplace stressors are detrimental to an organization. Employees may exhibit irritability and a low tolerance for their peers, negatively impacting team morale. They may also experience a range of turbulent emotions such as feeling withdrawn, discouraged, or angry, impacting their ability to form positive connections with colleagues.

Emotional turmoil eventually manifests in the physical body. This behavior is often an indicator of employees experiencing chronic stress, which puts them at risk for depression, obesity, diabetes, mood disorders, arthritis, or poor cardiovascular health. Organizations that neglect the mental health of their workforce have higher turnover and unemployment rates because employees can’t cope with the constant pressure, overwhelming feelings, or resulting physical ailments.

Managing Mental Health & Stress in the Workplace

The good news? Employers can be preventative and reduce job stressors. Employing programs and creating policies fosters an environment conducive to healthy living and a culture that supports mental health.


A foundational aspect of a culture that values mental wellness is education. Seminars or workshops help spread awareness about the importance of mental health and start a conversation that is historically taboo in the workplace.

Providing self-assessment tools or orchestrating small group sessions are great outlets for employees to explore the roots of their distress. Collaborative discussion eliminates shame associated with mental illness as peers work through pain together rather than in silence. Workshops can also focus on problem-solving strategies to help employees navigate potential stressors.

Management should be educated and trained for identifying symptoms of poor psychological health, fostering a workplace culture that promotes mental well-being, and having healthy communication and direction between themselves and employees.

Coping Strategies

Employee access to mental health benefits such as subsidized clinical screenings or low out-of-pocket costs for medications and/or counseling are crucial. Employers can also offer opportunities and dedicated space to practice relaxation techniques and stress relief methods like mindfulness or yoga.

A workplace culture that values mental wellness encourages employees to share how they’ve overcome adversity to achieve well-being, and how they apply that success to their work environment. This peer-to-peer support eliminates the stigma surrounding mental illness and prevents employees from being physically close, but emotionally distant and isolated.

Learn more about promoting health in the workplace.

Employee Wellness Programs as a Mental Health Solution

Creating wellness opportunities is a resourceful and effective way to help employees be mindful of the state of their mental health. Organizations can design employee wellness programs that combat the specific stressors their workforce struggles with. Between interactive education, practical tools, and physical activities or classes, workplace wellness programs help employees identify what they or others are at risk for and connect them with treatments and resources.

For example, a program consists of a health talk that covers common types of mental health issues in the workplace, a weekly mindfulness/meditation class, a weekly mat pilates class, and a healthy cooking demo every other month. This design educates employees about mental health, provides outlets to relieve and manage stress as a group, and acknowledges that true well-being must be addressed comprehensively with an overall healthy lifestyle.

The more access employees have to wellness opportunities, the stronger they become at managing and withstanding stressors and triggers in their lives.

Strive Wellness Programs

Mental health plays a vital role in overall well-being. Strive offers stress management and mindfulness programs that can be seamlessly integrated into existing programs, as well as all-encompassing wellness program offerings with turnkey administration (ideal for organizations wishing to avoid multiple vendors). Designing a wellness program with a strong emphasis on workplace mental health with Strive includes offerings like:

Book a discovery call to speak with a wellness expert about customizing a workplace mental health program for your organization.

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