Mental health issues pose considerable challenges for societies, workplaces and individuals around the world, and they’re not going away anytime soon. In Mexico, the number of deaths due to mental disorders increased by 33% between 2008 and 2014. In Europe, an estimated one in four people face mental health challenges at least once in their lifetime, and suicide is one of the main causes of premature death. While employees with mental health conditions can remain productive members of the workforce with treatment, most don’t receive the support they need to be most effective. Stigma and a lack of health care providers and other resources are major hurdles that hinder progress in this area. Employers can play significant a role in combatting stigma and ensuring access to evidence-based, cost-effective care that is scarce or non-existent in so many countries around the world.
Tackling issues around mental health and well-being is no small task, and it is best done through the power of numbers. The Business Group has joined forces with the Consumer Goods Forum (CGF), and the Global Chief Medical Officers Network (GCMON) to respond to the need for increased awareness on issues of mental health in the workplace and the key role that employers can play in the lives of employees with mental, emotional, and behavioral disorders.
Through the collaboration, a toolkit promoting positive mental health and well-being in the workplace will be developed to provide companies with a framework to implement employee mental health awareness initiatives in their workplace. It will aim to also provide context on specific resources already available in a number of geographies of interest to multinational employers. The initial findings of the toolkit will be presented in October at the CGF’s Sustainable Retail Summit as well as the Global Institute’s October quarterly meeting, where employers will have the opportunity to react, provide feedback and brainstorm future solutions and programs.
This partnership reflects the commitment of Business Group on Health on the topic of mental health. Over the course of this year we will invite members to participate in an ongoing dialogue about mental health and emotional well-being in the U.S. and globally through a virtual summit series. The global findings from the collaborative will be a part of that series this fall.
The global challenges around health and well-being in the workplace cannot be tackled alone. Multi-stakeholder collaboration with individuals, employers, communities, policy makers and providers are key for not only knowledge sharing, but also to drive tangible actions in ensuring that the tools for positive mental health and well-being are made available and safeguarded. Going forward, the CGF, the Business Group, and GCMON collaborative seek to continue in their efforts to raise awareness around these global issues and drive positive change within this space.