#5 - Mental Wellness
Long hours, high demands and work-family conflicts could be as harmful to health as secondhand smoke. COVID-19 accelerated the mental strain for many.
Exhausted people aren't productive and tend to resign.
Prioritizing mental wellness at workplaces makes both people and the company better off. Mental health support is often valued higher than gym memberships and free meals.
Take care of yourself first. Reducing doomscrolling and phone usage are good first targets. Keep working hours at a sane level. Exercise every now and then. Try to maintain a somewhat balanced diet.
Build a culture of connection within your team and company. Check-in regularly with colleagues and employees. Listen thoroughly and carefully, but don't intrude. Understand the real worries beneath the surface.
Offer flexibility to easen up the burden. New parents need daycare. Caretakers need fewer hours. Some want to work from different places. Everyone's different, make it inclusive.
Set an example. The change starts from the top. Share your own experiences, if you have them. Destigmatize mental health issues. As Paul Greenberg puts it: "As soon as you normalize it, other people do too."
Wisdo - Share challenging experiences
Lyra - An all-around platform
Ladder - Mental health services for BIPOC
Thyself - A chrome extension for mental health
Spring Health - Precision mental care
Mantra Health - Mental care for university students
Mental health investments on average have 5:1 returns.
Proactive cultural change, training and raising awareness yield the best results (6:1 ROI).
Reactive therapy is less effective, but still very positive (3:1 ROI).
Additional benefits: increased productivity, commitment, engagement, talent acquisition and quality of work.
Don't settle for reactive or bolt-on wellness programs. Solve problems before they arise. Make wellbeing a core value.
The total effect of COVID-19 on mental health is unclear. A long tail of mental health problems could form.
Starbucks offers 20 therapist sessions per year for employees and family members.
Zappos' benefits include paid paternity leave, pet adoption and wellness challenges.
KKR extended mental health resources to employee families, reimburses 250$ for virtual classes and $300 for improving your home office setup.
SAP launched daycare, flextime for parents and a mental health program. Operating profit increased $900M in 5 years.
Propellernet invests 5% of monthly profits to a wellbeing fund. They also fulfill one dream each quarter.
Stigmas continue to decrease. What was once taboo is now mainstream. Big Tech is trying to help by integrating mental wellness to their apps and services.
Depression and anxiety will become more socially acceptable, and it starts with the C-level example. "Hiding breeds shame. Shame is destructive."
New services will be increasingly virtual. This is a double-edged sword. Remote services solve distance and time issues but can lack human connection and body language.
How’s your mental health? - Advice from the trenches.
Being open about my mental health makes me a better boss - Ryan Bonnici shares his therapy session bookings openly in his calendar.
Mental health and employers: Refreshing the case for investment - Deloitte's report includes over 30 case studies and ROI figures for mental health initiatives.
The Best Mental Health and Business Podcasts for Entrepreneurs - A list of 9 podcasts covering mental health.
Investing in mental wellness has a real, proven return on investment. And often it's big.
Top management has to set the example. Stigma is decreasing, but it's still there. Lead by example, be vulnerable.
It's all about the people. Check how they are, listen to their worries, support and provide help when they need it.
Thanks for reading. See you next week!