How to Recognize World Mental Health Day 2020

On October 10th, leaders and mental health advocates across the globe observe World Mental Health Day. Back in 1992, this holiday was established to educate, spread awareness, and advocate against the stigma associated with mental health.

Now in 2020, it’s more important than ever before to recognize World Mental Health Day—especially within the workplace. Within just a few weeks of the COVID-19 crisis officially being declared a global pandemic, more than 22 million Americans suddenly lost their jobs. As a result of stay-at-home orders and social distancing restrictions, remaining employees were forced to work from home, and children started learning virtually. 

With all of these changes, COVID-19 has left the whole world feeling anxious and isolated. In fact, according to a KFF Tracking Poll from mid-July, 53 percent of American adults’ mental health have been negatively impacted due to the pandemic. Another KFF Tracking Poll found that the pandemic’s top two effects on adults have been difficulty sleeping and difficulty eating. 

Employees’ mental health has been impacted by work-from-home burnout—which is stress they endure when they don’t separate their work life from their home life. Within the last few months, 75 percent of employees have experienced burnout, with 40 percent of them attributing it to COVID-19. 

It’s very likely that some of your employees have been struggling with their mental health recently. So how can you support your employees and recognize World Mental Health Day this year? 

Here are some tips:

Give Employees a Day Off

“Mental health days" help employees reduce stress levels and avoid burnout. To recognize World Mental Health Day this year, give your employees a day off so that they can prioritize their mental health and take a well-deserved break from work. 

Here’s how Amy Roy, Head of People at Namely, is recognizing World Mental Health Day:

“Like any initiative, it needs support from all levels of the organization. I'm proud that our executive team recognizes World Mental Health Day (10/10) and that our employees will have an additional day off (10/12) in recognition of that day to rest and recharge.”

Host Virtual Wellness Sessions

Since World Mental Health Day strives to educate and spread awareness, host virtual informative sessions for your employees. From mental health advocate guest speakers to stress management webinars, you can host a variety of wellness sessions. To help employees reduce stress levels and take care of their physical wellness, you can also host virtual workout classes and mediation sessions.

Volunteer or Donate

To recognize World Mental Health Day, consider donating to or volunteering with an organization that supports mental health. Set aside a budget and ask your employees which organizations they’d like your company to donate to. In addition, provide your employees with virtual volunteer opportunities. 

Here are 2 causes that Namely is encouraging its employees to volunteer with:

  • Mental Health Kind Calls: Mercy Haven houses 300 individuals and families across Long Island, with 95 percent of them living with a mental illness. Volunteers will be matched with one of their isolated residents for a phone call connection to help relieve their anxiety and reduce social isolation.
  • Volunteer Listener at 7 Cups: 7 Cups is a service that offers free mental health support through online support chat rooms.

Send Wellness Packages

Recognize World Mental Health Day by sending each of your employees a wellness package. Whether it contains aromatherapy candles, motivational quote stickers, or stress relief coloring books, this gift box will help your employees relax and recharge on World Mental Health Day.

Prioritize Mental Health Every Day

Although it’s important to recognize World Mental Health Day, employee wellness should be a priority every day. Whether it’s by offering them wellness benefits or frequently checking in with them, there are several ways you can support your employees during this time. 

Here’s how Namely has been prioritizing its employees’ wellbeing:

“At Namely, we've gone to our employees to ask for their help in defining our wellness initiatives. We've done this through surveys, but we've also formed a wellness committee to help prioritize and define new programs,” said Amy Roy, Head of People at Namely.  “Every company is different in terms of needs, and this has helped us prioritize where we should focus. Since the creation, we've held financial and emotional wellness webinars, healthy cooking classes, and added a digital fitness platform. We've also gotten great support from our medical carrier, Cigna. Our representative really focuses on wellness and is a great resource for ideas. With their help, we held a 6-week physical fitness challenge and have scheduled wellness mailers go out monthly.”

To learn more about World Mental Health Day 2020 and access well-being resources, click here.

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