How to create an organizational culture of mental health awareness Supporting employee mental health must come from a company culture that normalizes the conversation.

 

May is Mental Health Awareness Month, an opportunity to bring to the forefront how mental health challenges impact all of us — either directly or through friends and family. Throughout the month, it’s a reminder that “you are not alone.”

As the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) says, “We will use this time to focus on the healing value of connecting in safe ways, prioritizing mental health and acknowledging that it’s okay to not be okay.”

Acknowledging it is step one. Step two is talking about it.

Normalizing the conversations

At Hyland, we address mental health through a variety of benefits including flexible work schedules, leave and time off options, and wellbeing offerings focused on holism. But it goes beyond a benefits package. Supporting employee mental health must come from organizational cultures that normalize these conversations.

To do so, Hyland has recently established two partnerships. The first is with NAMI, to address employee mental health and burnout. The second is with Darkness into Light (DIL), which supports suicide prevention.

On May 8, Hylanders around the world will participate in DIL’s fundraising walk, knowing that there is always a better day ahead. Hyland will have teams from the Asia-Pacific region; Europe, the Middle East, and Africa; and the Americas, all walking to raise funds to support local partner charities in all regions.

They’ll also be walking toward step three — breaking the stigma.

Breaking the stigma

Through panel discussions and Hyland’s Peace of Mind mental health employee resource group (ERG), employees are learning, sharing, and empathizing with each other.  This will continue to make us stronger together because we all have a story — one that doesn’t define us, but shapes us.

We are in a time when it’s more important than ever for employers to establish policies and cultures that are conducive to the mental well-being of their employees.

Here at Hyland, our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion helps employees bring these stories to the table as part of a community. By offering programs like Mental Health First Aid Training, leaders, HR, and members of Hyland’s active ERG community are learning how to feel comfortable with conversations around mental health challenges and illnesses.

In my role as Wellness Program Manager and President of Peace of Mind, I am humbled every day to hear from employees how our programs are positively impacting not only them, but also their families. We value employee feedback and recognize that we have so much more room to grow and learn. We remain committed to our mission to normalize, support, and the break the stigma.

As mental health awareness is gaining attention, I’m excited to see where this will take us as an organization. I’m also excited to see countries around the world working to break the stigma.

Ann Marie Hutchins

Ann Marie Hutchins is the wellness program manager at Hyland. She earned a BA in French and Education and an MA in Interdisciplinary Studies from Hiram College. Ann Marie is... read more about: Ann Marie Hutchins

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