Embracing Mental Wellness: RETAIN Kentucky’s Guide for Supporting Mental Health at Work

By Bailey Schenk

About 20% of adults, or nearly 50 million Americans, face mental illness. Globally, depression and anxiety result in an estimated loss of 12 billion working days every year, equating to a staggering $1 trillion lost productivity each year. Deteriorating psychological health takes a toll on businesses, employers and employees alike. It manifests in decreased job engagement, commitment and attendance, along with higher rates of employee turnover.

To address this, RETAIN Kentucky released a new workplace mental health resource “Mental Health Resource Guide for Employers and Policymakers.” This resource distills insights from expert organizations, including the U.S. Department of Labor and it’s Office of Disability Employment Policy, providing a compilation of resources and best practices to inform the development of effective workplace mental health strategies and policies. This guide serves as a straightforward and valuable tool for employers, program administrators and policymakers in their efforts to support and promote positive mental health in the workplace.

“Prioritizing mental health and connecting employees to accessible resources like employee assistance programs (EAPs) and wellness programs helps employers create a workplace culture where individuals are valued, supported and engaged. Employers can enhance productivity and performance while attracting and retaining an engaged workforce by empowering employees to manage their stress and creating a supportive workplace culture through programs like RETAIN Kentucky.

Encouraging and providing solutions for work-life balance and destigmatizing mental health encourages employees to seek support when facing mental health concerns. When management and employees work together to address mental health, everyone benefits.”

– Kristen Dahl, Senior Program Manager, Mental Health Developmental Disabilities National Training Center, Human Development Institute, University of Kentucky

Key features of the guide:

  • Resource Compilation: This guide simplifies the dissemination of information by compiling resources to support program and policy development in one central place.
  • Versatile Applicability: Tailored for a diverse audience, including policymakers, program administrators and employers, the guide ensures its relevance across various workplace settings and organizations.
  • Accessible Format: This guide incorporates a list format for resources, as well as their purpose and audience, allowing readers to quickly scan the resources and absorb key insights.
  • Diverse Informational Mediums: This guide compiles resources offering varied formats of information dissemination, including toolkits, blogs, trainings and more.

This guide is a valuable tool for employers aiming to create more supportive workplaces. It compiles practical, comprehensive resources into one location, simplifying the research processes involved in the development and implementation of positive mental health strategies and best practices. This makes these strategies more accessible and the processes easier to navigate.

To access the guide, click here.

RETAIN Kentucky is funded by the U.S. Department of Labor and the Social Security Administration under a grant award of $21,600,000 to the Kentucky Office of Employment and Training that will be incrementally provided. 100% of grant funding is from U.S. Federal funds. This document does not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the U.S. Department of Labor or the Social Security Administration, nor does mention of trade names, commercial products, or organizations imply endorsement by the U.S. Government.