May is Mental Health Month, which gives us a timely opportunity to reflect on some alarming workplace statistics. Each day, one million workers miss work due to stress. Depression specifically causes workers to miss an average of almost 5 workdays in a three-month period and is estimated to cause 200 million lost workdays each year. At Genomind, our mission is to improve the lives of patients with mental illness by bringing innovation to clinical care. As we think about our mission as a company, it is vital that we also think about each other as co-workers and how to provide resources and support to one another for our own mental health.
Providing Mental Health Resources for Employees
As a cutting-edge mental healthcare company, we utilize a progressive and innovative human capital strategy. Genomind does many things to support our employees’ wellbeing as a whole, but specifically their mental health. It is imperative that we walk the talk of our outward mission internally and support our amazing team as they carry out this mission to improve the lives of patients worldwide.
Genomind offers two programs to support our employees. The first is a mental health program that provides free counseling sessions to employees and their families for any issue they choose to address. This program also links employees to providers and helps them to simplify, expedite, and find the most cost effective care. Our second program acts as a concierge service to team members in order to facilitate care for any health condition, not only related to mental health. Each member of the Genomind team also has the opportunity to have their own Genecept Assay® performed if they choose to.
There are many opportunities for business leaders to improve their approach to mental health in the workplace. Mental health, and health in general, have historically been taboo topics to discuss in the workplace for many reasons. If we want to change the stigma of mental health and affect the statistics shared above, we need to start right here. Rather than sweep these topics under the rug because we are ashamed or afraid, we need to give our teams tools to have meaningful conversations about their own mental health.
Encouraging Open Conversations
We understand that stigma still exists around mental health. As we work to decrease this stigma and encourage discussion around mental health with our customers, we want to encourage this same stigma-free environment in the workplace. To reassure employees, resources like those listed above are in place for everyone to turn to when the need is critical.
Respect is one of Genomind’s six core value words, and we take this topic seriously when it comes to respecting fellow team members. We encourage conversations amongst each other as teammates, about our life challenges and mental wellbeing. At Genomind, we hold monthly learning sessions on topics such as stress management and financial planning to facilitate conversation and to address issues that our team faces outside of their work.
As the VP of HR and Compliance at Genomind, I have a unique view of the entire company’s human capital. I have spoken to each of our 91 employees before they were hired and know our human capital is the most valuable part of our business. We need to be sure we can support our team members during their highs and their lows. We are changing the way mental health treatment is provided every day through each of the clinicians and patients we touch. We will also continue to evolve to a place where mental health is freely discussed in the workplace. My hope for Genomind is that we not only change the way clinicians treat their patients, but we will also influence how businesses and human resources professionals help to support their employees when it comes to mental health and wellbeing.