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Support an Employee

Tips for employers on how to support people living with mental illness in the workplace.

Provide guidelines for business conduct. Each year, request that all employees read and sign guidelines for business conduct, containing a section on fair and equitable treatment and a sub-section on discrimination applying to all business dealings. Also, post these guidelines in break areas and other areas where employees will see them frequently.

Bring in an expert on mental health. Book a speaker to discuss mental health and mental illness with your employees.

Provide access to Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs). EAPs can assist employees in dealing with stress-related, emotional and psychiatric pressures that may limit their effectiveness on the job.

Ask your insurance carrier about (adequate) mental health coverage. Until recently, most insurance companies provided more restrictions to accessing mental health services than they do to accessing care for a physical illness, despite the fact that in any given year more people will have a mental illness than a physical illness. Cutting dollars for mental healthcare can increase overall medical costs.

Reading at Work

Be accommodating. Learn how to create an environment that works for people who have special needs.

Create a work-life balance strategy. Create and implement policies that protect work-life balance among employees, with the goal of reducing illness and absenteeism.

Create and enforce a return-to-work policy. Create disability and return-to-work strategies for employees with mental illnesses.

(courtesy of Open Minds Open Doors)


2000 N. Beauregard Street,
6th Floor Alexandria, VA 22311

Phone (703) 684.7722

Toll Free (800) 969.6642

Fax (703) 684.5968

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