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The 5 Essentials for Mental Health and Well-Being in the Workplace

The 5 Essentials for Mental Health and Well-Being in the Workplace

2.5 minute read

The U.S. surgeon general released a new framework which outlines how employers can promote health and well-being in the workplace. Here are some essentials to help organizations best support their workers.


5 Essentials for Mental Health and Well-Being in the Workplace

1. Work-life Harmony

Work life and personal life can sometimes create work and nonwork conflicts. To encourage practices that assist with work-life harmony, workplaces can:

  • Increase access to paid leave
  • Respect boundaries between work and nonwork time
  • Make schedules as predictable and flexible as possible
  • Provide more autonomy over how work is done


2. Matter at Work

Employees want to know that their work is important and that they matter to those around them. Feelings of unimportance can lead to stress and increase the risk for depression.

To ensure a culture of mattering at work, employers can:

  • Provide a living wage
  • Engage workers in workplace decisions
  • Connect individuals’ work with the organization’s mission
  • Build a culture of gratitude and recognition


3. Protect from Harm

Creating the conditions for physical and psychological safety is a critical foundation for ensuring mental health and well-being in the workplace. Workplaces can:

  • Normalize and support the focus on mental health
  • Prioritize workplace physical and psychological safety
  • Operationalize diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility norms, policies, and programs


4. Connection and Community

Fostering positive social interaction and relationships in the workplace supports worker well-being. Organizations can:

  • Foster collaboration and teamwork
  • Cultivate trusted relationships
  • Create cultures of inclusion and belonging


5. Growth Opportunities

When employers create opportunities for employees to accomplish their goals based on their skills and growth, they become more optimistic about their abilities and more excited about contributing to the organization. Employers can:

  • Foster clear, equitable pathways for career advancement
  • Offer quality training, education, and mentoring
  • Ensure relevant, reciprocal feedback



The surgeon general’s guidelines provide a standard for workplaces to follow when it comes to mental health and well-being in the workplace. Download the bulletin for more details.


Additional Resources

Mental Health Resources

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National Insurance Services is not a law firm and no opinion, suggestion, or recommendation of the firm or its employees shall constitute legal advice. Readers are advised to consult with their own attorney for a determination of their legal rights, responsibilities and liabilities, including the interpretation of any statute or regulation, or its application to the readers’ business activities.

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Erin Woulfe

Erin Woulfe

Erin Woulfe likes to write about things that matter. Keeping her finger on the pulse of what’s happening in the public sector world, she blogs about the latest legislative news and employee benefit trends that affect our school, city and county clients. She’s been with NIS since 2002. “I love connecting to our clients and providing them with the tools they need in order to administrate their plan,” says Erin. “Whether that be materials to educate their employees on certain benefits, how to effectively communicate change within an organization, or providing tips and how-to’s to help them make their job easier.”