This article was first published on BRINK October 13, 2021
The Healthy Societies podcast series explores the many ways in which businesses can take an expanded view of their role in advancing the health of their broader communities. Listen to part one of the series here.
Mental health is as critical a part of wellbeing as physical health, but our culture and institutions are just beginning to understand this. Businesses play a critical role in supporting the mental health of their employees and their communities more broadly. Mercer workforce health practice leader Wolfgang Seidl talks about how businesses can lead the way.
On why companies should monitor and act on mental health:
“We shouldn’t delegate everything to the medical profession, when some aspects like good work and psychological safety at work can be better addressed as cultural issues from within the business. And organizations that respond well and quickly to a crisis have seen their share price rising.”
On how business can help when public health systems are lacking:
“It’s arguably even more imperative that you as an employer help your colleagues in those circumstances when there is no good public health care system, or where there is a big taboo about accessing mental health services.”
On the methods and interventions that work:
“We really can measure if someone in counseling or other treatment has improved. If we use evidence-based interventions like mental health pathways with clear return on investment attached to them, that will help us to support our colleagues.”
On the approach for business over the next decade:
“I’m always optimistic … I would say that we have clearly shown over the last 18 months or so that health care in general and mental health in particular has risen up the corporate agenda. What I see in clients we work with is that they are taking a much more integrated view of things now, so that health is not isolated from other aspects of the business.”