This mental health policy template forms a good foundation for your employment policies. It should be adapted to your company’s individual needs and circumstances.
The Principle and Definition
A mental health issue is any condition that affects an employee’s state of mind, encompassing mild depression, stress, and anxiety with a variety of contributing factors, including burnouts.
Mental health plays an integral role in a person’s overall well-being, and is equally important to physical health. Unfortunately, it is often not openly discussed within our society.
An employee suffering from mental illness is likely to be less happy, less collaborative professionally, and less productive in the workplace. Enter the need for modern companies to take a vested interest in the mental health of their employees.
Mental health challenges affect a company in a myriad of ways:
- Employee turnover.
- Regular absenteeism.
- Low employee performance.
- Accidents in the workplace.
- Potential for increased violence or harassment at the workplace.
The Mental Health Policy outlines the company’s approach to the management of mental health and how to prevent mental health issues from arising among employees.
The policy seeks to create a workplace environment that supports employees when they experience challenges. It’s also the company’s desire to ensure all their employees are treated fairly in the workplace.
All employees are affected by this policy. The policy has benefited from input from key stakeholders including employees, senior management, and mental health and labor experts.
Implementation of this policy and its communication to employees will be the responsibility of [HR/mental health committee]
The Policy Highlights
Factors Affecting Mental Health
Mental health issues arise over a variety of factors, some beyond the company’s influence and control. Examples include hereditary causes, domestic pressures, and general health.
However, there are many cases when mental health issues may arise from work-related challenges. Examples include:
- Anxiety over job insecurity.
- High pressure jobs.
- Poor work-life balance.
- An unpleasant work atmosphere.
- A lack of appreciation.
- Hostility at the workplace.
- Tiresome and unfulfilling work.
- Poor relationships with immediate supervisors, managers, and colleagues.
The company is committed to managing these causes and more. The first step is recognizing the potential for these issues to arise, this is followed by taking proactive measures to prevent as many of these issues from occurring as possible.
The company aims to:
- Regard mental health as a serious subject of concern.
- Be at the forefront in identifying and resolving underlying causes.
- Show genuine empathy and support to staff who face mental health problems.
- Work in collaboration with senior managers and union leaders to create a pleasant work atmosphere that promotes mental health and job satisfaction.
The following policies are in place to help ease employee distress:
- Anti-retaliation policies.
- Anti-discrimination policies.
- A violence-free workplace.
- Encouraging open communication.
- The ability to work from home and flexible hours.
- Parental leave and short term disability leave.
The above list is not exhaustive. These policies work to promote harmony and happiness at the workplace while assisting employees to seek a healthy balance between their jobs and personal life. Managers and HR will be encouraged to ensure these policies in place throughout the company.
The company has also established an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) to offer confidential consultations and assessments, as well as a personal crisis hotline that operates 24 hours.
The company’s insurance policy covers mental illness treatment and counseling as well as substance-abuse treatment. HR is mandated to sensitize employees on this package and answer any questions that arise.
The company will enlist the services of mental health professionals to visit our premises [once a month] to discuss mental health awareness with our employees as part of the EAP. Employees will be encouraged to speak to these professionals directly whenever they require confidential counseling and guidance.
Fighting The Stigma around Mental Health
The company intends to create a culture of awareness surrounding mental health and fight any stigma attached to it. To do this we will:
- Conduct regular workshops. Managers and employees will hold [quarterly] workshops to discuss mental health issues.
- Give employee updates. HR will discuss the mental health policy with new employees and any updates to the policy will be communicated to all employees in a formal session or meeting.
- Compile useful materials. The company will support the establishment of a library rich in articles, periodicals, videos and info-graphics about mental health. These resources will be made digitally accessible to all employees who may be interested.
There are many issues in the workplace than can cause emotional strain on employees such as compensation, job security, and challenges with work-life balance.
For these issues, and many more, we encourage employees to contact the mental health professional made available to them for personalized consultations.
Open communication between managers and employees is also encouraged. Employees are to openly discuss any issues they may be facing with their managers.
Managers must always listen to their staff and demonstrate genuine empathy and support. Both parties should work together to find a resolution.
Managers should be proactive with mental health issues and learn to spot mental health cases among the employees and reach out to them.
A general guideline on how to help an employee with mental health challenges is as follows:
- If there is a work-related problem, managers should seek a solution to the issue.
- If an employee is having problems relating with colleagues, managers should mediate between the colleagues and seek to resolve the issue. Management should consult HR for more guidance if the issue is severe.
- Employees may be facing personal problems that they don’t want to divulge. Management should respect the employee’s privacy and encourage them to contact the company’s mental health professionals.
Support and Communication
HR will distribute anonymous surveys to find ways they can better support the mental health of their employees.
A [monthly] support session has been established where employees can openly discuss issues they may be facing and seek advice.
Employees will be encouraged to seek help from management, supervisors, and coworkers when dealing with emotionally difficult circumstances both at home and in the workplace.
Recognition and Development
Feeling appreciated and recognized for good work can prevent stress related to demanding work schedules. The company strives to create a culture where employees can feel confident that their hard-work and dedication is noticed by management.
In recognition of the time and effort our employees put into building our business, the company has established:
- Recognition programs.
- Mentorship programs.
- Learning and development programs.
Mental Health and the Law
Employees who suffer from medical conditions like clinical depression, or mental disorders (e.g. schizophrenia) are protected by law against any discrimination.
In keeping with our policies, we treat all employees with fairness and without bias. An employee will never be obliged to disclose their medical conditions or other medical details. Employees who seek assistance will be supported and given opportunities to solve any issues.
The company will also accommodate people with mental conditions in any way they can, such as assigning them flexible working hours.
Feedback and Evaluation
This is an ever evolving policy which we will seek to update at every opportunity. Mental health issues are varied and as a result the policy’s provisions are not restrictive.
HR will continuously research mental health issues and compare emerging trends for combatting mental health issues in the workplace. The policy should always be relevant and useful to the company and employees.
In order to strengthen this policy, everyone’s input is appreciated and we encourage employees to share their ideas, concerns, and experiences.
Download this policy sample:
|Google Doc – Letter
PDF Document – Letter (.pdf)
Microsoft Word – Letter (.docx)
OpenDocument Format – Letter (.odt)
Rich Text Format – Letter (.rtf)
Plain Text – Letter (.txt)
|Google Doc – A4
PDF Document – A4 (.pdf)
Microsoft Word – A4 (.docx)
OpenDocument Format – A4 (.odt)
Rich Text Format – A4 (.rtf)
Plain Text – A4 (.txt)