5 Ways Global Companies Can Support Employee Mental Well-being

Mental Well Being

By Hardeep Kaur, Director of People, Demandbase

A person’s mental health not only impacts their personal life, but also their professional one.

In fact, an estimated 12 billion working days are lost every year to depression and anxiety at a cost of US$ 1 trillion per year in lost productivity, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

It’s estimated that more than 197 million people in India have a mental disorder including over 45 million people with depressive disorders and some 44 million with anxiety disorders, as reported in The burden of mental disorders across the states of India: the Global Burden of Disease Study 1990-2017.

Within a culture that views mental health as taboo, however, these figures may in fact be much higher.

A study conducted by Manah Wellness of 1,764 employees working white-collar jobs in urban India, found 29% of workers showed moderate-to-severe signs of depression, 55% reported having moderate-to-severe signs of anxiety and 78% showed moderate-to-high amounts of stress. Despite these findings, around 99% reported moderate-to-high psychological well-being.

These staggering discrepancies underscore the urgent need for organizations in India to act.

Prioritizing your employees’ mental health isn’t just a moral imperative; it’s a strategic, and vital, business decision. If your company is grappling with how to support employee mental health, here are a few suggestions:

No 1. Destigmatize Mental Health

Mental health struggles are prevalent in Indian workplaces and society, yet remain taboo and often undiscussed. It can be difficult to talk openly about the challenges people face, especially when it comes to mental health, but it’s critical to overcoming stereotypes, building understanding, and fighting isolation. At Demandbase, we strive to make every employee feel seen, heard, and supported through our employee resource groups and discussions delving into work-life balance, advocating for yourself, and cultivating inclusion topics.

No. 2 Foster a Culture of Trust

Poor mental health may be evident by signs of employee stress and burnout that include high turnover, frequent absenteeism, internal strife and teams struggling to meet targets. If you are seeing these troubling signs in your workplace, it’s time to act. Even if you aren’t, you should take steps to ensure your employees feel seen and supported. This means creating an atmosphere where employees feel safe to share their thoughts and concerns without fear of judgment or repercussion. Creating a support system, through employee wellness initiatives, management check ins and intra-department resource groups, can build this culture, foster trust and show employees you value their well-being.

No. 3 Provide Access to Resources and Support Services

To support employee mental well-being, companies can offer benefits that cover mental health care services and provide access to counseling and mental health hotlines. The key here is to regularly evaluate and update these benefits to ensure they meet your employees’ changing needs. It’s also important to ensure employees know how to access the care and resources available to them confidentially and without judgment. By providing access to resources and support services, employees can feel valued and supported, leading to increased productivity, job satisfaction, and overall well-being.

No. 4 Implement Flexible Work and Time-off Policies

Companies can support employee mental well-being through work arrangements like flexible schedules and remote work. They can also allow employees to manage their time off without strict leave structures. Companies, like Demandbase, also offer employee breaks during high-stress periods, such as the summer and around the holidays. It’s not enough to simply offer flexibility, however, you also have to encourage your employees to take time away. Such employment policies and practices allow employees to prioritize their mental well-being without sacrificing their job responsibilities.

No. 5 Invest in Mental Health Training

Employees require support to identify, address, and treat their mental health conditions. To effectively address the mental health needs of employees, employers can invest in training programs that equip all workers with the necessary tools to support one another. This can include providing leadership with training on active listening, empathy, and facilitating supportive conversations or companywide tools and training programs giving tips on managing life stressors, supporting individuals facing mental health or substance abuse issues, and improving mental health culture in high-performing environments.


Statistics have painted a stark picture of India’s mental health landscape, making it abundantly clear that immediate action is needed. Employers are ideally positioned to positively impact the lives of people, those aged 15–64 years, largely affected by mental health conditions. By heeding this advice, companies across India can take proactive steps to support employee mental well-being, foster a culture of understanding and inclusion, and ultimately create healthier, happier, and more productive workplaces.

Also ReadYearender 2021: Athletes speak up on mental health, show importance of well being

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