More and more employees are working remotely, whether they’re full-time telecommuters or part of a hybrid workforce. For many people, remote work offers a lot of flexibility and freedom. But it can also present some challenges, especially when accessing mental health support.
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That's why it's crucial for employers to offer telehealth and other flexible options for mental health support. In this blog post, we'll discuss some of the best options for remote and hybrid employees.
One option that’s gained popularity is teletherapy, which is a type of therapy that’s conducted over a phone or video call. This can be a great option for employees who want to access therapy from the comfort of their own homes. Your company can offer this service through an employee assistance program (EAP) like Health Advocate or another teletherapy provider like Talkspace as part of an additional benefits program.
Another easily accessible option employers have is to offer memberships to meditation apps like Headspace or Calm. These apps can be used to help employees reduce stress, improve focus, and get a better night's sleep.
Workplace Wellness Programs
Your company can also consider offering workplace wellness programs that include various forms of mental health support. Programs like these can provide employees with access to counseling services, stress management resources, and more, depending on what you choose to include.
Mental Health Hotlines
In addition to programs and providers, there are public mental health hotlines that employees can call if they need someone to talk to. These hotlines are confidential and free, and they can be a great resource for employees who are struggling with their mental health. Consider compiling a list of hotlines and making them available on the company’s intranet or sending out a company-wide email to share them with all teams.
Employee Assistance Programs
Many companies choose to offer employee assistance programs (EAPs). These programs provide employees with access to counseling services, financial resources, and more. EAPs can be an excellent resource for employees who need help dealing with stress, anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues.
Emphasis on Self-care
As an employer, it's also important to encourage employees to take time to focus on self-care. While it differs for everyone, self-care can include exercise, healthy eating, getting enough sleep, and taking breaks throughout the day. When employees take care of themselves, they are more likely to be productive and happy at work, so it’s beneficial for everyone if employees dedicate time to self-care.
Sometimes the best support can come from colleagues. Providing training to managers can help them better identify mental and behavioral health issues and risk factors. This might allow managers to help employees address issues before they become too impactful. Training can also help managers learn how to support employees who are actively struggling with their mental health.
Introduce Mental Health Champions
Mental health champions are employees that take on the voluntary role to help fellow employees with mental health concerns in a peer-to-peer environment. They can also help raise awareness of mental health in the workplace and act as advocates.
It’s important to keep in mind that mental health champions are not professionally trained therapists — instead, they’re there to point people to the available support and resources when needed. That said, it’s probably a good idea to provide these employees with some training to better prepare them for the conversations they may end up having.
Ultimately, the champions are a point of call for employees — someone they can speak to, without fear of judgment, when they’re struggling. This is a great way to encourage peer-to-peer support and to help ensure no one goes under the radar while working remotely.
Keep Mental Health Top of Mind
There are many flexible options for mental health support in a hybrid workplace. These options can provide employees with the help they need to manage stress, anxiety, and other mental health issues. Employers can use these and other options to create a more supportive and productive work environment.
To learn more about managing a hybrid or remote workforce, check out our helpful resources or reach out to us to learn more about the ways we can support you and your company.
If you or someone you know is struggling with mental health, please reach out to a mental health professional or call a mental health hotline.
This material has been prepared for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for, legal or tax advice. If you have any legal or tax questions regarding this content or related issues, then you should consult with your professional legal or tax advisor.