In light of mental health awareness month, we share a global resource that may help managers across 10 countries
Business Group on Health, a non-profit organisation, has released “Addressing Mental Health from a Global and Local Perspective,” a comprehensive guide to help HR and leaders at global organisations develop and implement mental health programs for their employees and families.
The ‘industry-first’ resource aims to help multinational companies address mental health needs of their employees around the world.
The release coincides with May’s mental health awareness month and comes at a time when mental health needs are increasing, especially amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Addressing mental health issues locally can be one of the most difficult challenges for global organizations,” said Kathleen O’Driscoll, vice president at 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
- 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 UK. 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. It was developed with input from global employers including Business Group member companies, The Consumer Goods Forum, and the Global Chief Medical Officer Network.