4imprint, LLC
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4 min read


Building blocks for better staff mental health

Posted: April 14, 2023 | Maggie Manley 4 min read

Tips for supporting employee mental health

  1. Build a culture of connection
  2. Offer and promote resources
  3. Have open conversations
  4. Encourage self-care
A group of colleagues laughing in a business setting.

In a growing movement, workplaces around the globe are focusing more on employee mental health. In fact, 90% of employers think mental and behavioral health in their organization was affected by the pandemic. More than three out of four (77%) report concern about these effects. 

Emphasizing staff mental health may result in increased performance, better retention and improved creativity (PDF). Research suggests that for every $1 spent, organizations may see returns of up to $4. 

If your organization is interested in supporting employees’ mental health, consider these steps. 

1. Build a culture of connection

Creating a sense of belonging among staff can do wonders for their mental health. A sense of belonging can be a protective factor in warding off negative feelings associated with stress and anxiety, which impact about 25% of workers weekly. People with a strong support system are often more resilient and have higher self-esteem. To build authentic relationships: 

  • Be intentional about setting aside time to ask about your associates’ lives and feelings.
  • Use an open-door policy for employees to share. 
  • Plan optional activities for employees to connect and relax. 

2. Offer and promote resources

Consider offering resources, such as employee assistance programs (EAPs), mental health coaching, behavioral health apps or team guided meditation sessions. Whatever resource your organization offers, promote it in onboarding and beyond. 

3. Have open conversations

Seventy-nine percent of employees believe mental health awareness campaigns would help reduce the stigma in their workplaces. By encouraging honest conversations about employee mental well-being, leaders are helping to break down barriers and build trust. 

Susan Goll, executive director of the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA)—Wood Buffalo Region (Alberta) office in Fort McMurray, Alberta, sees encouraging signs that more employers are opening up about mental health. “I think there are more conversations happening in the workplace,” she said. “We’re seeing more requests to come into businesses and present on mental health and what mental health supports might look like.” 

A group of colleagues holding logoed zippered portfolios.

To help spark conversations, the CMHA – Wood Buffalo office outfitted its Board of Directors with padfolios imprinted with the organization’s logo. The branded items give mental health visibility in meetings, trainings or other events. 

A black zippered portfolio with a logo.

Conference Ring Folio with Notepad – Debossed

“These identify our Board of Directors—who are all volunteers—as people who can speak about mental health. They identify our volunteers as someone who’s approachable,” Katie Reddy, mental health coordinator, said. 

“They’re super practical, great for organization and are very visible in case someone needs to talk. It’s important to have that initial conversation,” Reddy said.

4. Encourage self-care

Employers can go the extra mile by supporting self-care practices in the workplace, such as encouraging employees to take breaks during the day, allowing flexible work schedules or allocating PTO or mental health days when employees need them. 

Lydia Sanabria, Founder of A.R.I.S.E. Community Solutions in Glendale, Arizona, says helping employees take care of their own mental health is a critical step. “Stress and anxiety are at an all-time high,” she explained. “We have quite a few patients that come in dealing with daily life stressors, like work, childcare, commuting or their schedules.” 

Sanabria says that employers being open to options like flexible work can help employees reach a more comfortable work-life balance, which can improve mental health. For example, if clinicians at the A.R.I.S.E. office have trouble finding childcare for a particular day, she will help them block the time to balance work and family obligations. 

An event table with a logoed tablecloth and pens.

The organization uses pens imprinted with its contact information for community outreach events. When people experience a stressful event or crisis, the pens remind them they have somewhere to turn for support.

Branded items remind people it’s OK to ask for help.

A yellow pen with a logo.

Javelin Pen

“A lot of providers are doing the best they can,” she said. “Getting out in the community to show that we are here for them is key.” 

Support the whole person with employee mental health initiatives

Taking purposeful steps toward supporting employee mental health can help your team thrive. 

Gift a proven stress reducer to teams or customers

Encourage employees to take breaks throughout the day.

A set of eight color markers with logos.

Fine Point Felt Tip Pen Marker

An orange notebook with a logo.

Neoskin Soft Cover Journal

A coloring book and colored pencils set with a logo.

Adult Coloring Book To-Go Set


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