In 2008, the U.S. House of Representatives named July “Bebe Moore Campbell National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month,” with the aim of improving access to, and increasing awareness of, mental health treatment for multicultural communities. Health Net provides the following tips to help employers and companies promote good mental health in the workplace for diverse employee populations.
African-Americans, Latinos, Asian-Americans, and Native Americans still face significant roadblocks to mental health services, says the American Psychological Association, such as cost, stigma and poor quality of care.
The following tips can help employers promote good mental health in the workplace for diverse employee populations:
- End the stigma. Stigmas can make people reluctant to discuss their mental health needs with family, friends or even health care providers. Employers can raise employee awareness of policies and programs at their organizations that promote mental health, such as an Employee Assistance Program (EAP). Employers can also educate themselves and their employees about mental health through resources such as Stamp Out Stigma or The Partnership for Workplace Mental Health.
- Partner with a behavioral health vendor that is capable of supporting a diverse employee population. MHN, Health Net, Inc.’s behavioral health subsidiary, offers several ways to make it easier for multicultural populations to access the care they need, including:
- Free interpretation services available in over 170 languages.
- A diverse network of providers, with over 35 languages spoken.
- Spanish resources available on MHN’s member website.
- Train managers and employees to recognize the signs and symptoms of mental illness. This can help with early identification and referrals to screening and treatment services for employees in need.
- Promote sensitivity. Encourage management to show compassion, understanding and flexibility for those needing time to manage their mental illness or care for a family member with mental illness.
By implementing the tips above, employers can help promote good mental health in support of National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month. A healthy workplace is not only good for employee health and well-being, but also for an organization’s bottom line.
Managed Health Network, Inc. (MHN) is a subsidiary of Health Net, Inc. The MHN family of companies includes Managed Health Network, MHN Services and MHN Government Services. Health Net and Managed Health Network are registered service marks of Health Net, Inc. or its affiliates. All rights reserved.