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SHRM Research Demonstrates HR's Impact on Mental Health

Report shows providing mental health benefits to employees displays empathy and care

Alexandria, Va.—The workforce is currently facing an unprecedented amount of burnout, stress, and loneliness. As the nation kicks off Mental Health Awareness Month, we at SHRM and the SHRM Foundation are focusing on workplace mental health and wellness. Our Mental Health in America: A 2022 Workplace Report shows how HR policies can make an impact and create empathetic communities. SHRM/SHRM Foundation released this report last month in collaboration with Otsuka America Pharmaceutical Inc. (Otsuka). As the representative for the company's workers, human resource (HR) professionals serve a vital role in assisting employees with mental health struggles and educating managers on how to best support their employees.

More than 3,400 human resource professionals across various industries in U.S. organizations with 10 or more employees participated in the survey. In the era of the Great Resignation, many HR respondents said that mental health resources help keep their workforces robust and content. Ninety-four percent of respondents believe that mental health resources convey compassion, while 90 percent think that mental health resources can serve as a preventive measure for burnout before it appears. 

"The importance of putting the mental wellness of our employees first cannot be underscored enough," said SHRM Foundation President Wendi Safstrom. "HR professionals, employers and people managers alike can play an important role in the lives of their employees by assisting them in finding the resources they need while simultaneously reducing stigma."

Employers leading the charge: Many organizations and HR professionals are setting the standard to improve mental health in the workplace. SHRM found that 78 percent of organizations offer mental health resources or plan to offer these benefits in the coming year. Additionally, 58 percent of HR professionals stated that in their view, their organization is providing sufficient mental health support to its workers.

Organizations eliminating stigma: With 4 out of 5 organizations offering mental health resources, 73 percent of organizations with such resources have an employee assistance program (EAP) in their benefits package, and 26 percent of organizations provide mental health workshops within the workplace. Additionally, 68 percent of respondents indicated the desire to include mental health and resiliency workshops in their work schedules.

Mental health preventive care: Our study concluded that simply offering mental health resources is not enough for organizations to stave off burnout and fatigue. They must also monitor their workforces proactively. Many organizations have implemented processes to measure efficacy in their workplaces to properly evaluate their employees' health. The top three forms of measurement include employee engagement surveys (48 percent), mental health resource utilization (47 percent), and productivity and attendance (43 percent). 

"We're pleased to collaborate with SHRM and the SHRM Foundation to shed light on the important role employers can play in supporting their employees' mental well-being," said Angela Colon-Mahoney, vice president of people and business services for Otsuka America Pharmaceutical, Inc. "As a mental health care company, Otsuka takes a forward-thinking approach to building community and reducing stigma. That commitment starts internally with a number of employee programs ranging from our peer-to-peer mental wellness group to our mental health first aid program."

Other key findings from the SHRM/SHRM Foundation study include:

  • Mental health resources are a win-win for employees and organizations alike.
    • 88 percent of HR professionals believe that offering mental health resources can increase productivity, while 78 percent said offering these resources can boost the organizational return on investment (ROI). 
    • 86 percent of HR professionals feel that offering such a package can increase employee retention.
  • Offering mental health assistance as part of an organization's total compensation package is key to attracting the best talent.
    • 35 percent of workers believe mental health benefits are more important than higher pay or salary, and a similar percentage (29 percent) claimed that mental health perks like meditation or yoga matter more than higher pay.
    • 58 percent of employees stated that a healthy work/life balance is more important than financial compensation.

HR professionals and employers play a prominent role in the day-to-day lives of their employees. And as more employees indicate mental health services as a priority, their organizations are taking those needs into account. With each step, SHRM is there to provide support. In 2021, the SHRM Foundation launched the Workplace Mental Health and Wellness Initiative to address the stigma of mental illness and foster an organizational culture that creates opportunities and provides support to those struggling with mental health issues. The conversation will continue at SHRM and the SHRM Foundation's October 2022 Visionaries Summit, where the agenda will address the importance, strategies, and evaluation of belonging and mental health best practices in the workplace.


SHRM Member Sample

The 2022 Mental Health Workplace Benefits study was conducted from Jan. 4 through Jan. 24, 2022. Online surveys were conducted with a sample of 1,783 adults who are members of SHRM. Respondents were required to be SHRM members who work in human resources at organizations with 10 or more employees. Respondents represented organizations of all sizes—from 10 to more than 25,000 employees—in a wide variety of industries across the United States.

Non-SHRM Member Sample

The 2022 Mental Health Workplace Benefits study was conducted from Jan. 4 through Jan. 24, 2022. Online surveys were conducted with a sample of 1,629 adults who were not members of SHRM. Respondents were required to work in human resources at organizations with 10 or more employees. Respondents represented organizations of all sizes—from 10 to more than 25,000 employees—in a wide variety of industries across the United States.

About SHRM

SHRM, the Society for Human Resource Management, creates better workplaces where employers and employees thrive together. As the voice of all things work, workers and the workplace, SHRM is the foremost expert, convener and thought leader on issues impacting today's evolving workplaces. With 300,000+ HR and business executive members in 165 countries, SHRM impacts the lives of more than 115 million workers and families globally. Learn more at and on Twitter @SHRM.

About SHRM Foundation

Founded in 1966, the SHRM Foundation is the 501(c)(3) philanthropic arm of the world's largest HR professional society, SHRM. SHRM represents more than 300,000 HR professionals across the globe, impacting 115 million workers and their families. The SHRM Foundation mobilizes the power of HR for positive social change in the workplace. Its robust resources, meaningful partnerships, and evidence-based programming educate and empower HR professionals to hire diverse talent, build inclusive workplaces, prioritize workplace mental health and wellness, develop, and support the next generation of HR professionals, and help employees find purpose at work and beyond. Learn more at

About Otsuka

Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. is a global healthcare company with the corporate philosophy: "Otsuka–people creating new products for better health worldwide." Otsuka researches, develops, manufactures, and markets innovative products, with a focus on pharmaceutical products to meet unmet medical needs and nutraceutical products for the maintenance of everyday health.

In pharmaceuticals, Otsuka is a leader in the challenging areas of mental, renal, and cardiovascular health and has additional research programs in oncology and on several under-addressed diseases including tuberculosis, a significant global public health issue. These commitments illustrate how Otsuka is a "big venture" company at heart, applying a youthful spirit of creativity in everything it does.

Otsuka established a presence in the U.S. in 1973, and today, its U.S. affiliates include Otsuka Pharmaceutical Development & Commercialization, Inc. (OPDC) and Otsuka America Pharmaceutical, Inc. (OAPI). These two companies' 1,700 employees in the U.S. develop and commercialize medicines in the areas of mental health, nephrology, and cardiology, using cutting-edge technology to address unmet healthcare needs.

OPDC and OAPI are indirect subsidiaries of Otsuka Pharmaceutical Company, Ltd., which is a subsidiary of Otsuka Holdings Co., Ltd., headquartered in Tokyo, Japan. The Otsuka group of companies employs more than 47,000 people worldwide and has consolidated sales of approximately $13.3 billion.

All Otsuka stories start by taking the road less traveled. Learn more about Otsuka in the U.S. at and connect with us on LinkedIn and Twitter at @OtsukaUS. Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd.'s global website is accessible at


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