Employer Resources for Workplace Mental Health Issues
Both during the height of the Covid pandemic and now in the aftermath, employers are increasingly reaching out to our Employment Group about employees who are demonstrating or reporting mental health problems. While some of these reports come with medically certified diagnoses, many do not, but all require a well-trained, compassionate and engaged response from management and/or Human Resources. To that end, we offer the following resources for employers to become informed about their options and their tools for getting ahead of and responding to mental health issues in the workplace.
- CA Mental Health Services Commission (started in 2019)
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration section of the federal DHHS
- National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) has created the More Than Enough campaign.
- Mental Health America is a nonprofit organization that has published resources for businesses.
- U.S. Surgeon General released (in late 2022) its Framework for Workplace Mental Health & Well-Being In the Workplace which consists of the following 5 components for developing a robust mental health awareness and support culture in the workplace:
- “protection from harm”
- “connection and community”
- “work-life harmony”
- “Mattering at work”
- “opportunity for growth”
In addition, many company health insurance plans include coverage of an Employee Assistance Program (“EAP”) for mental health consultations and evaluations. For those employers who do not have EAP resources available, consider directing employees to the Mental Health America direct services portal.
Finally, all California employers are reminded that employers who are on notice of an employee’s mental health condition must evaluate it under the disability accommodation framework and comply with the Fair Employment and Housing Act (“FEHA”). Using the FEHA interactive dialogue sample packet published by the California Civil Rights Division is a great place to start.
Of course, the attorneys of our Employment Group are here to guide you and support you through the FEHA compliance process. Please reach out to us.