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Thriving in the Workplace: How to Cultivate a Positive Mental Health Culture

Over the years, mental health has gained immense attention in every social area. As per WHO, mental health is defined as a state of mental well-being that enables people to navigate through the stresses of life, realize their abilities, and offer a reliable contribution to their community. Mental health covers psychological, physical, social, and emotional constructs of an individual’s well-being. It also comprises the state of cognitive and behavioural aspects of a person. An individual’s mental health status can reflect a lot about their psyche. Positive workplace environments can only be cultivated via nurturing positive minds in the organization. Ahead in this blog, factors contributing to the well-being of employees in the workplace environment will be followed up precisely.

Mental Health & Workplace 

Mental health is equivalent to multiple factors in an individual’s sphere.  Nearly 60% of the population is employers representing workers and employees from all walks. This determines that decent work is equivalent to better mental health. Decent work endorses the idea of sustainability, achievement, and purpose in one’s life, offers a livelihood, enables positive relationships and inclusion in the community, and offers other benefits. Lack of any of the previously mentioned elements is capable of affecting an individual’s mental health. This reflects the idea of enjoying one’s job instead of merely sustaining it. Decent work basically does not hamper work-life balance and integrates growth. Risks at the workplace are categorized into psychosocial risks, including factors capable of affecting the mental health of workers. Risks are stated below:

  • Under skilled at work and understaffing 
  • Inflexible working hours, inadequate pay, unclear job role, and under/over promotion 
  • Poor physical working condition 
  • Lack of support from colleagues or authoritarian supervision
  • Discrimination, harassment, violence, and exclusion in the workplace 
  • Conflicting work-life demands

Mental Health Laws 

Organisations are obliged to comply with mental health laws, Why? Primarily because WHO has recognized severe mental health issues under global calamities. The root of every person reflects on every dimension of an individual’s life. Nowadays, organizations tend to have a lenient approach towards dealing with employees with mental health crises. Hence, they tend to ask for documentation as a means of rigid evidence of giving compensatory treatment to employees, engaging them in interactive processes, or settling a term for reasonable accommodation to diminish any sort of undue hardship.

Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008 (MHPAEA)

Mental Health law plays a crucial role when it comes to addressing a sensitive topic like Mental Health. It is a federal law that provides financial assistance and treatment limitations imposed on Mental Health and substance abuse. It provides benefits from imposing fewer benefit limitations. The law is applied to group health plans, group health insurance coverage and also to individual insurance coverage. It is practiced by large group health plans and issuers who choose to include the benefits in their package.  It is analytical to understand that when policymakers and stakeholders discuss parity and claim success, they are not referring to just the MHPAEA. Parity, as we know it, involves several statutes and a number of regulations. The MHPAEA requires consideration of how care management is applied, what the bases for provider network structures are, and how medical necessity is defined. The federal Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (MHPAEA) sought to eliminate historical disparities between insurance coverage for behavioural health (BH) treatment and coverage for medical treatment.

Americans Disability Act Influence on Mental Health

With every law comes some benefits, such as the ADA, which prevents employees from discrimination on the grounds of any disability. The law protects any individual with depression, PTSD, and other mental health conditions in the workplace. Under the ADA law, employers are prohibited from firing or refusing to hire an employee and taking adverse action against an employee on a perceived mental health condition. They are required to provide reasonable accommodations to applicants with any mental health conditions and benefits, such as a flexible schedule, permission to work from home, flexible working hours, etc. To have a right to all the benefits and accommodations, a person should qualify for mental health conditions. Employees have the ability to proactively engage in the interactive process only if the disability is apparent. The interactive process is generally triggered by a request from an individual with disability who will be able to suggest an appropriate accommodation. It’s the employee’s duty to ask for accommodation, initiate the interactive process, and provide relevant details about his disability. Physical changes to the workplace, like extra equipment, may also be effective and reasonable accommodations for some people. 

Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) relationship with Mental Health

FMLA is also one such act under which an employee is entitled to up to 12 weeks of job-protected and unpaid leave to recover from a mental condition or illness or to take care of any family member. The eligibility criteria to avail the benefit of this law include that the employer must have 50 or more employees and 20 or more weeks in the current proceeding or calendar year. FMLA covers all stress-related issues and conditions. 

Organisational approach towards Mental Health

Organisations should have a better approach when dealing with issues like mental health as it is a sensitive issue in itself. There are specific steps that an organization can take to ensure a good and healthy environment for people dealing with mental health issues:

  • Ensure that managers and supervisors are well-trained and equipped when dealing with employees.
  • Employers should offer support to their employees in need 
  • Increasing awareness and understanding of mental health plays a huge part. 
  • Counselling sessions should be arranged for the employees trying to seek therapy
  • Employees should be provided with all the benefits under the ADA and FMLA Act.
  • A good and healthy working environment should be a top priority.

 Mental health challenges are one of the most significant concerns of today’s working environment. Approximately 20% of people have mental illness, and only about 1% of employees report at least one symptom of mental health. The right to good health, including mental health, and the right to decent work are fundamental human rights. In response to this burden, the WHO has developed guidelines that provide recommendations for effectively addressing mental health issues at work. Organization interventions help reduce emotional distress and improve work-related outcomes. 


Mental Health issues in today’s time have taken a toll on the entire job sector. The issues are more prevalent than ever. Many businesses are not prepared to address mental health issues at work, which can lead to lower employee productivity and absenteeism. Employers can positively impact the mental health and well-being of their employees, reduce compliance risk and enable employees living with mental health conditions to thrive at work.

Post Author: Admin

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