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Conversations around workplace mental health and well-being have rightfully received increased awareness in 2023. While employee mental health is still not a #1 priority in many workplaces, it’s become a much more widely discussed and prioritized topic. In 2022, the office of the U.S. Surgeon General released its framework for workplace mental health and well-being. This includes a list of “Five Essentials to support workplaces as engines of well-being.” These include: (1) Protection from Harm, (2) Connection & Community, (3) Work-Life Harmony, (4) Mattering at Work, and (5) Opportunity for Growth.

Protection from Harm requires that employers provide safety and security for their employees. Safety is protecting workers from harm, both physical and non-physical, and security is making sure employees feel secure financially and in their job future. Connection and Community means “fostering positive social interactions and relationships” among coworkers. Promoting connection and community meets employee needs for social support and belonging. Work-Life Harmony ensures that employees feel autonomy and flexibility in their work and non-work obligations. Mattering at Work is an important factor in meeting the human needs of dignity and meaning: “Knowing you matter has been shown to lower stress, while feeling like you do not can raise the risk for depression.” Opportunity for Growth means that employees can feel a sense of accomplishment in their work. When this need is met, workers can become more optimistic about contributing to their organization.

There are many resources available to learn to better support your employees’ (and your own!) mental health and well-being, including this list of studies provided by the Surgeon General. Additionally, Your Best Self Online Course is designed to put “Your Best Self” forward at home, at work, and in your relationships. What better time than now to advance the conversation surrounding mental health and well-being in your workplace.