How to support your team’s mental health

Julia Néel Biz and Nicolas Merlaud are two of the four co-founders of the Paris-based company tarnishing Teale, a mental health platform that provides teams with personalized care. Nicolas ran startups For more than a decade Julia has led strategy at companies such as taxi platforms Kapten and Free Now (now merged) and they have both observed a lack of mental health support in the workplace. That’s why they are now dedicated to helping organizations take a holistic approach to mental health, with a focus on prevention, personalization and community.

With 76% of employees expecting their employers to provide mental health support and 50% of employees suffering from mental health issues that result in absenteeism, a company-wide mental health framework is key to organizational success. In our Startup Life NewsletterJulia and Nicolas shared their top tips on how to support your team’s mental health.

Personalize your support for mental health

Company psychiatric counseling must go beyond mere support in emergency situations and the listing of therapists. Blanket support systems don’t work – people don’t take it high help if it was not explicitly created for them. You want to understand a person holistically: their background, their living situation, current challenges and how they like to absorb information. You can then provide them with various resource formats – they may need a therapist, pre-recorded informational videos on how to manage stress, audio guides, or group chats online or in person.

You need to collect data

To personalize support, you need data. For example, let’s say someone is a new parent — data shows that a new parent may face challenges like lack of sleep or trying to figure out the logistics of getting back to work. HR can drive specific topics and resources that may be helpful to them, such as: These include a meditation program, access to parent support groups, and one-on-one counseling.

Data can be collected through a dedicated mental health platform like Teale or Spring Health, 1:1 meetings with managers, or surveys that are regularly disseminated across the organization. What matters is the data you collect and use to require support got to be confidential. Employee data must be protected and no personally identifiable information should ever reach management.

👉 Read: Burnout and Bullying: Why Startup Employee Mental Health is So Poor

Mental health policies and resources need to be repeated—they are not static documents. By collecting data on how employees access support, what challenges they face, and trends in team needs, HR can improve the way the organization provides mental health support.

Access to help must be easy

Don’t let people ask or prove it You need help. Instead, provide support and offer self-service, ie let people help themselves – perhaps you have a knowledge base listing all the resources available and how to use them, or you use a dedicated mental health platform. Make sure your employees are constantly reminded that you’re there for them and that resources are available: Managers can use 1:1 conversations to reiterate what’s available and have an open conversation about how the company is doing can help. All hands can be used to remind the wider team of the support available – the first slide can highlight new resources and make it clear that mental health is important to the organization.

Offer low-commitment options

Another challenge is the stigma surrounding therapy and mental health. It’s changing, but it’s still there. By providing “less scary” options — a therapist may be too much or unnecessary for some — an employee is more likely to resort to mental health support. For example, if someone is struggling with anxiety, start by providing them access to a video series that explains what anxiety is and how to manage it. Then, when they feel better, offer them access to a therapist to get to the root of the cause.

You also want to save your team time by providing curated resources like therapists—you don’t want them to spend ages searching for the right support or being overwhelmed with too many choices.

Access to help should be possible at company level

It shouldn’t just be reserved for high-level talent – coaching and therapy are often offered to those at the top because they think they’re under the most pressure – or when someone is desperate for support. Mentally healthy organizations are 2.2x more likely to achieve their financial goals.

Speaking of… supporting your team’s mental health

🧠 Mental health initiatives in the workplacehelp?

⛈️ Support your team through a crisis. Don’t just focus on the logistics to get you through a tough time – support them Mental health your employees how they fight too.

😞 What happens when CEOs are vulnerable? This French YouTube series gets senior leaders to speak openly about their struggles.

💰 Founders, Are You Getting Paid Enough? If not, it can have an impact your sanity.

🤔 How much do investors support the mental health of their companies? Corresponding these founderslittle.

Anisah Osman Britton is co-author of Sifted’s Startup Life newsletter, which is published weekly on Wednesdays. Sign up here.

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