U.S. Department of Labor Introduces Mental Toolkit for Employers

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Desirée Patno is the CEO and President of Women in the Housing and Real Estate Ecosystem (NAWRB) and Desirée Patno Enterprises, Inc. (DPE). With almost three decades specializing in the Housing and Real Estate Ecosystem, she leads her executive team’s expertise of championing women’s economic growth and independence.

One in five American adults experiences a mental health condition each year, and work often plays a critical role in their wellness, states the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL)’s Disability Employment Policy. To address this issue, the DOL recently introduced the Mental Health Toolkit, an online resource for employers to help them understand mental illnesses their employees might be dealing with and ways in which to create a supportive work environment.

The toolkit was developed with the department’s Office of Disability Employment Policy and the Employer Assistance and Resource Network on Disability Inclusion. Employers now have access to the latest research on workplace mental health, example of mental health programs that other employers have created, and links to help them get started in building their own initiatives.

Mental health is on the rise and it is likely to affect the workplace. According to a 2018 study by netQuote, out of 1,000 survey respondents, 41 percent were diagnosed with a mental health disorder, and 52 percent said their mental health disorder interfered with their work. In addition, 80 percent of employees rated their stress levels at work above a seven on a 10-point scale in a survey by CareerCast.

Some employers find difficulty not only identifying when an employee has a mental health disorder but also do not know how to appropriately address it. Being able to do both of these is the responsibility of the employer for the health of their business as well as for the wellbeing of their team. The projected costs of not addressing mental health issues in the workplace could reach $16.3 trillion across the globe between the years 2011 and 2030, reveals a 2016 EMBO report.

“Employers that understand the importance of providing a supportive environment that empowers these employees are doing what’s right for their employees and for their businesses,” states Jennifer Sheehy, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Labor for Disability Employment Policy.

Read the official news release here.

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