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Promote Mental Health by Communicating Benefits, Leading by Example

A woman meditating in front of her laptop at home.

​This is the 14th in a series of compilations of answers to #NextChat questions of the day.  

COVID-19 and the social isolation, health concerns and economic uncertainty associated with the pandemic are taking a toll on people in many ways. Between 22 percent and 35 percent of U.S. employees often experience symptoms of depression in this time of the COVID-19 outbreak, according to research the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) released in May.

"Now, more than ever, employers should double down against stigmas and guarantee employees know of the resources, benefits and accommodations available," said SHRM President and Chief Executive Officer Johnny C. Taylor, Jr., SHRM-SCP.

How do you incorporate mental health into your employee engagement strategies and activities? That was the question of the day posed on a recent SHRM #NextChat by Mary Kaylor, SHRM-SCP, manager of public affairs at SHRM. The following is a compilation of responses from LinkedIn and Twitter

[SHRM Mental Health Resources]  


—Tosin Zubair, SHRM-CP, customer relations specialist at MTN in Abuja, Nigeria, on Twitter.


Matthew Henry, HR generalist at 5812 Investment Group in Columbus, Ohio, on Twitter.

As simple as it sounds, I help organizations to intentionally incorporate more play and playfulness into the workday. The simple can be profound in that play is integral to mental health and employee wellness.
Geoff McLachlan, founder and CEO of Professionals at Play in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, on LinkedIn.

Arts-based learning activities.
Yury Toroptsov, artistic photographer at Studio Yury Toroptsov in Paris, on LinkedIn.

—Canadian Payroll Services in Toronto, on Twitter.

I encourage other employees to take a personal day if they need one or talk to a counselor if needed. I also show by example and remain open and honest when I take a day off just to have a personal day to myself!
Jillian Renzi, recruiter at Maxim Healthcare Services in Buffalo, N.Y., on LinkedIn.

In addition to giving information about available resources, I try to destigmatize mental health and provide a supportive culture. My goal is to increase the employee's well-being and create a welcoming environment for all to seek the help.
Mayra Sanchez, SHRM-CP, HR manager at Square Enix in the greater Los Angeles area, on LinkedIn.

More from this series:

  1. Juggling Child Care with Telework? Here Are Some Tips
  2. Bone Broth Cleanse, Push-Up Clubs: HR Pros Share COVID-19 Workout Routines
  3. For Better or Worse During COVID-19: Sharing Telework Space
  4. Tips for Employee Orientation During COVID-19
  5. COVID-19 Continuity Planning: Identify Critical Tasks, Broaden Tech Use
  6. Pet Pals Are 'Co-Workers' During Quarantine
  7. People Look Forward to Simple Pleasures After COVID-19
  8. Performance Reviews During COVID-19: Should You Suspend Them?
  9. Safety, Poor Planning Among Concerns as Employers Plan a Return to the Workplace
  10. Monday, Monday: How Do You Gear Up for the Week?
  11. Virtual Happy Hours, Games and Meals: Team Building Varies During COVID-19
  12. Pandemic Poses Recruiting, Hiring Challenges
  13. Important Lessons Learned from Your First Job


​An organization run by AI is not a futuristic concept. Such technology is already a part of many workplaces and will continue to shape the labor market and HR. Here's how employers and employees can successfully manage generative AI and other AI-powered systems.