A program of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation
Mental health and wellness are strategic imperatives for American business. Depression, anxiety and feelings of isolation and hopelessness not only plague productivity and work quality, they can have a real impact on employee morale and our sense of shared purpose. Some of our most vulnerable employees are at greater risk of long-term health challenges, self-harm and suicide. By addressing problems and providing support early on, employers have the opportunity to prevent much more serious outcomes in their employees’ lives.
Our nation has learned a great deal about mental health through our veteran community. Veterans have shown great strength and resiliency as many have addressed and overcome challenges associated with mental health problems. They have worked to address stigma by openly discussing their challenges, creating support networks, and looking for community-based solutions.
In collaboration with the President’s Roadmap to Empower Veterans and End the National Tragedy of Suicide (PREVENTS) Executive Order Task Force, the business community is working with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation and the Department of Veterans Affairs to help identify and develop best practices around mental health and wellbeing in the workplace. Businesses are in the unique position to leverage the learnings from our employees, including veterans, to encourage a national discussion on mental health in the workplace, and collaborate on meaningful solutions.
Together, we pledge to prioritize mental health in the workplace and undertake the following core actions to effect change in the United States:
1. Overcome Stigma. We will work to reduce stigma related to mental health and emotional wellbeing by encouraging senior leaders to engage in open and healthy conversations. Our senior executives and front-line managers are key to our efforts. We will leverage them as well as our business and community leaders to serve as role models in the fight to normalize mental health problems and encourage mental and emotional wellness.
2. Adopt a Comprehensive, Proactive and Education Approach. We will make available resources, training and/or educational opportunities to employees to help them recognize the signs of possible struggles in themselves and their colleagues, as well as available tools and resources to address mental health and wellbeing issues when they arise. We will emphasize the important role of front-line managers in our effort to prioritize the mental wellbeing of all employees.
3. Provide Access to Assistance and Services. We will make behavioral health services such as Employee Assistance Programs (EAP) and/or mental health benefits available to support employees in need and to create a culture of health and wellbeing. We will encourage employees to use these confidential services, creating a culture of health that can help promote self-care along with multiple pathways to access behavioral health support and treatment.
4. Assess and Measure. We will use qualitative information related to efforts to reduce stigmas, promote awareness and provide access to services in order to inform future interventions and services on a continuous basis.
5. Build a Culture of Inclusion. We will promote a safe, inclusive work environment and leverage employee resource groups to help drive awareness around mental health and emotional wellbeing topics, creating communities of support.
6. Continuous Evaluation and Ongoing Collaboration. We will commit to ongoing efforts to review the effectiveness of our mental health and emotional wellbeing programs and make necessary adjustments based on the needs of our employees and available data from private and public partners. We will collaborate as community leaders to share best practices and lessons learned, working to provide greater understanding among the business community.
Overall employee mental health and emotional wellbeing is a critical priority for forward-looking employers, such as our organization. The workplace will benefit from improved productivity and employee engagement to drive better business performance and outcomes for those we serve. Together, we are committed to implementing proven best practices to enhance productivity and engagement, and enrich the lives of our employees, their families, our business partners and the broader community we are dedicated to supporting.
Thank you for being committed to prioritizing mental health in the workplace. Please fill out the form below for more information on making the pledge.
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A Program of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation