Businessolver Blog

Connecting Employees with Their Mental Health Benefits 

Posted on Wednesday, May 3, 2023 by Darius Clay

The mental health discussion is just beginning. Open dialogue and virtual care solutions are a winning combination to ease mental health stigma and promote overall health and wellbeing. 

Thank you to our guest speakers: 

  • Matthew Jakupcak, Senior Director of Clinical Quality, Lyra Health 
  • Bradley Smith, CEO, HALEO Clinic 
  • Sarah Warren Senior Benefits Manager, Businessolver 

A few weeks ago, several benefits experts and I came together to discuss the importance of mental health and how to better support employees. The recent cultural shift has been profound as today it’s not only acceptable but highly encouraged to talk about mental health in the workplace. Still, many workplaces still have room to grow when it comes to addressing the stigma. 

Mental health can’t be left at home, especially in today’s workplace as many employees are working from their homes at least part of the workweek. The state of their health and happiness impacts not only the individual but their family, colleagues, and communities as well. Approximately a third of people live in a mental health professional shortage area, meaning there’s a “desert” of in-person services. Digital point solutions can bring access to mental health care to employees no matter where they live. 

Matthew Jakupcak notes that Lyra’s data finds that 77% of people seeking counseling cite work as one of their top stressors, and the majority of benefits leaders believe it’s an employers’ responsibility to prevent employees from developing work-related mental health problems. 

While lending a listening ear during times of changes can be instrumental, guiding employees towards affordable and convenient point solutions can help put them on the fast-track towards improved health and wellbeing. 

Poor sleep is precursor to burnout and can make mental health issues worse. 

Bradley Smith emphasized the importance of sleep and prevalence of sleep-related issues. Poor sleep is both a predictor and symptom of mental health concerns. Those who suffer from chronic sleep problems are three times more at risk for depression, substance abuse, cardiovascular disease, and more. 

While roughly 1 in 3 employees qualify for clinical intervention (up to half for shift workers), sleep can thankfully be treated rapidly and effectively. Quality sleep can improve employee wellbeing in addition to workplace safety, performance and accuracy, and overall business continuity.  

Another reason to tackle sleep head-on: It’s not taboo. Most of us experience sleep troubles at one time or another, so it’s an easy entry-point into more serious discussions about anxiety or depression.  With digital point solutions like HALEO, clinical sleep treatment is no longer out of reach.  

HR and leadership must set the example for employees to prioritize mental health. 

Today’s workers are always “on.” There’s high demand both at home and work to be present and many are struggling to find that balance. If poor sleep comes into play, it can feel like a vicious cycle to catch up.  

HR professionals wear many hats, fielding benefits questions and mental health concerns while striving to be investigative, calm, and helpful. Leaders, both in and outside HR, are an integral part of an employees’ support system. Remember to use the same tools you provide to your employees because HR deserves support, too. 

Consistent open communication is the key to breaking down the stigma and making it okay to ask for help. Mental health awareness is here to stay, and people are looking for solutions. Slowly but surely, we’re approaching a time when physical and mental health are considered equal, and we bring all our tools and faculties to the benefit of both.