Consumer / Employer

New Tool Helps Employers Gauge How Well They Support Mental Health

Northeast Business Group on Health’s new survey tool is called Well Gauge. After employers answer a series of questions, the tool will provide a score and a list of recommendations to improve mental wellness at their company.

The Northeast Business Group on Health launched a new tool Thursday to help employers determine if their company provides adequate mental wellness support to their staff.

The survey tool, called Well Gauge, asks participants a series of questions through four sections: communicate a commitment to mental health, engage leadership at all levels, demonstrate a commitment to mental health equity and foster environments that support total health. 

After answering the questions, participants will then receive a score out of 25 for each section and a total score out of 100. The score is an “an indication of how effective your organization is in creating a culture of mental wellness,” wrote Amy Tippett-Stangler, senior vice president of Northeast Business Group on Health, in an email.

Participants will also receive a list of recommendations or action items outlining what they can do to improve mental wellness support at their company. These action items may include requiring mental health training for managers, providing paid leave for mental health days or taking suggestions from employees through surveys.

“You may use the list of action items to help normalize conversations around mental health, reduce mental health stigma and integrate strategies to create a culture of mental wellness,” Tippett-Stangler said.

Well Gauge was created by a task force of 15 people over the span of 10 months. The team included senior benefits leaders, clinicians and healthcare stakeholders, according to a news release.

Northeast Business Group on Health’s tool comes as more employers are looking to bulk up their mental health support for employees. A recent Willis Towers Watson survey of 455 employers found that 67% are looking to make mental health and emotional wellbeing programs a top priority in the next three years. It also found that 88% of respondents have already acted on mental health in the last year, with some of their top strategies including covering telebehavioral health services, providing employee assistance programs and giving access to digital behavioral health support.

But while mental health benefits and programs are necessary, companies need to do more for their employees, Tippett-Stangler said.

“Providing benefits coverage and offering programs for mental health are essential — but not sufficient — to support employee well-being,” Tippett-Stangler stated. “Creating inclusive environments in which mental health is a priority, mental illness is de-stigmatized, and employees feel valued as whole people is central to building a healthy, productive and committed workforce.”

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