Worker health and wellness

Grants promote mental health awareness in the workplace

Canton, OH – The Partnership for Workplace Mental Health recently awarded grants to four organizations to help raise awareness about depression in the workplace.

The grants – worth $8,000 apiece – are part of the Right Direction initiative, a free program that stems from the American Psychiatric Foundation and Employers Health Coalition, an Ohio-based national employer health care coalition. The initiative aims to help businesses promote a better understanding of depression as well as fight against the workplace stigma of mental illness.

APF listed several early warning signs of mental illness, including:

  • Recent social withdrawal and loss of interest in others
  • An unusual drop in functioning; difficulty performing familiar tasks
  • Problems with concentration, memory, or logical thought and speech
  • Increased sensitivity to sights, sounds, smells or touch

“While many employers offer EAPs, there continues to be an unmet need for focused education and resources to decrease stigma and encourage mental health in the workplace,” Marcas Miles, senior director of marketing and communications for the Employers Health Coalition, said in a press release.

Grant recipients included the St. Louis Area Business Health Coalition; the Mid-America Coalition on Health Care; the South Carolina Business Coalition on Health; and the Northeast Business Group on Health.

Clinical depression affects nearly 14 million Americans, and 68 million additional days of work are missed by U.S. workers who are diagnosed with the condition, according to the press release.