WASHINGTON, DC, May 4, 2020 —Business Group on Health announced today it has released “Addressing Mental Health from a Global and Local Perspective,” a comprehensive guide to help HR and benefit leaders at global organizations develop and implement mental health programs for their employees and families. The release coincides with Mental Health Awareness Month and comes at a time when mental health needs are increasing, especially in countries greatly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Mental health is a critical issue around the world and is especially relevant to global organizations because of its impact on employee health, well-being, productivity, and business performance. Research estimates one in four adults in the United States and United Kingdom has a mental or behavioral health need. And while some global companies and countries have made substantial efforts to improve the mental health of populations and employees, a significant amount of work remains.
“Addressing mental health issues locally can be one of the most difficult challenges for global organizations,” said Kathleen O’Driscoll, vice president, Business Group on Health. “It is often difficult for the corporate office to understand the nuances that take place at the local level. These nuances are particularly important for mental health, where misunderstandings and fears are abundant. That’s one of the reasons we developed this guide – to provide global organizations with a country framework to address issues like mental health access, quality, cost and stigma that allows for a ‘glocal’ approach, one in which there is a global strategy that is highly locally relevant.”
The comprehensive resource provides several examples of tools and ideas that multinational employers are implementing in countries around the world. Some of these initiatives are targeted to key mental health needs such as: educating employees about mental health disorders; addressing stigma through the use of testimonials and storytelling; providing access to mental health services; training managers on how to address mental health issues; and leveraging workplace champions and national campaigns.
Though the guide can be used globally, the vast majority is dedicated to providing managers with extensive information on mental health issues and programs in 10 countries around the globe. These include China, France, India, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Spain, South Africa, United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom. For most of the 10 countries, the guide provides the following:
- Details on public funding for mental health initiatives
- A snapshot of the health system landscape including the number of hospital beds for mental illness patients and number of mental health care workers
- Information on access, insurance coverage and treatment options
- Recommendations for employers on how to implement an EAP or create a well-being culture
- Names of non-governmental organizations and national campaigns on mental health
The resource features case studies of six multinational employers that put their well-being and mental health initiatives into action. Additionally, managers can read an exclusive interview with Dr. Neil Greenberg, professor of Defence, Mental Health at King’s College London, and a leading occupational and forensic psychiatrist in the U.K. In this interview, Dr. Greenberg discusses the effectiveness of evidence-based mental health interventions in the workplace.
Addressing Mental Health from a Global and Local Perspective was developed with input from global employers including Business Group member companies, The Consumer Goods Forum, and the Global Chief Medical Officer Network. It is available to employers and the public. The guide demonstrates Business Group on Health’s ongoing commitment to mental health and is the latest of many resources on various aspects of mental health it has developed over the years for employers. The Business Group’s additional resources focus on mental health training and awareness, stigma in the workplace, suicide prevention, the importance of emotional well-being and psychological safety, telework and emotional well-being and mental health and emotional well-being during the COVID-19 pandemic.