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Understanding Mental Health Issues and Creating Supportive Workplaces

Understanding Mental Health Issues and Creating Supportive Workplaces

The U.S. Department of Labor in a recent news release announced that they have launched a new resource to help employers better understand mental health issues and provides guidance on how to cultivate a work environment that supports employees with related conditions.

"By some estimates, one in five American adults experiences a mental health condition each year and work plays an important role in their wellness," said Deputy Assistant Secretary of Labor for Disability Employment Policy Jennifer Sheehy. "Employers that understand the importance of providing a supportive environment that empowers these employees are doing what's right for their employees and for their businesses."

Why foster a Mental Health-Friendly workplace? How do you know mental health impairment is covered under the Americans with Disabilities Act? The Mental Health Toolkit provides the following explanation.

Why Foster a Mental Health-Friendly Workplace?

According to the Center for Workplace Mental Health having a mentally healthy workplace is beneficial for employers.

  • 80 percent of employees treated for mental illness report improved levels of work efficacy and satisfaction.
  • When employees receive effective treatment for mental illnesses, the result is lower total medical costs, increased productivity, lower absenteeism and decreased disability costs.

Determine if a Person Has a Disability Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

The Job Accommodation Network (JAN) explains that "The ADA does not contain a list of medical conditions that constitute disabilities. Instead, the ADA has a general definition of disability that each person must meet. A person has a disability if he/she has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, a record of such an impairment, or is regarded as having an impairment." Here is a link to a resource to help Determine if a Person Has a Disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

For more information about Mental Health Issues and Creating a Supportive Work Places, the Mental Health Toolkit can be accessed by clicking HERE.

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