A Four-Part Framework for a Mental Health-Friendly Workplace

Tasha Patterson@Work

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A Four-Part Framework for a Mental Health-Friendly Workplace

By Susanne M. Bruyère, PhD, CRC

Director, K. Lisa Yang and Hock E. Tan Institute on Employment and Disability
Cornell University

Approximately one in five Americans lives with a mental health condition, translating to an estimated 51.5 million adults aged 18 or older.1 This is not strictly an American issue but rather a global one.2

While workplace mental health was already a high priority for many organizations, the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on nearly every aspect of daily life, including work, makes it more important than ever for employers to pay attention to this critical issue. The anxiety that the threat of COVID-19 has introduced is as essential to address as its physical risks.3

The precipitous move to telework and adjustment to new technology platforms for remote workers and the stressful situations essential workers face every day present unique challenges. Add in managing children’s at-home schooling and working to mitigate risk for vulnerable family members, and the pressures faced by today’s workers are simply unprecedented in our lifetimes.

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