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Why Do Employees Not Feel Supported at Work for Mental Health Well-being?

Why Do Employees Not Feel Supported at Work for Mental Health Well-being?

In a Zippia article of 2022, only 15% of U. S. employees feel adequately supported by their companies in terms of their mental well-being. This statistic raises the question: What factors contribute to this low level of feeling supported? Over 50% of companies provide various levels of wellness programs. Some programs may be more in-depth than others, such as offering meditation and exercise facilities or programs along with counseling and periodic wellness checkups. Regardless of the resources and programs, why do employees not feel supported?

The information below outlines possible reasons employees do not feel supported. Of course, there may be more reasons.


Here are potential reasons for your management team to consider:

  • Limited Awareness: Some companies may not fully comprehend the significance of mental health in the workplace, leading to insufficient initiatives and resources dedicated to this aspect of employee well-being.
  • Stigma and Silence: The enduring stigma surrounding mental health can discourage employees from seeking support, fearing potential negative consequences or judgment from colleagues and superiors.
  • Lack of Resources: Inadequate access to mental health resources such as counseling services or wellness programs can leave employees feeling unsupported and unable to effectively address their mental health concerns.
  • Workload Pressure: Excessive workloads, tight deadlines, and unrealistic expectations can contribute to stress and burnout, exacerbating employees’ mental health challenges.
  • Unsupportive Culture: A company culture that does not prioritize open discussions about mental health or fails to provide a safe and supportive environment can discourage employees from seeking help.
  • Leadership Role Modeling: When leaders and managers do not actively promote or prioritize mental well-being, it may convey that such concerns are not a priority within the organization. Suppose leaders and managers do not actively utilize well-being resources provided by a company. In that case, this may signal to other employees that it may be detrimental to their career trajectory to seek help.
  • Remote Work Challenges: The rise of remote work, while providing flexibility, can also lead to feelings of isolation and disconnection, making it challenging for companies to address employees’ mental health needs effectively.
  • Lack of Training: Managers may lack the training to recognize signs of mental distress in their team members and provide appropriate support.
  • Competing Priorities: Companies might prioritize financial goals over employee well-being, inadvertently creating an environment where mental health support is insufficient.
  • Cultural and Generational Differences: Diverse cultural norms and generational expectations regarding mental health support can influence how companies address this issue. Some cultures view mental health issues as a weakness; thereby, they do not pursue help.

To improve this situation, companies must recognize the importance of mental well-being, destigmatize mental health conversations, provide comprehensive resources, and foster a culture of openness and support. By implementing targeted initiatives, offering training, incorporating mental wellness benefits in HR orientation, and actively promoting employee well-being, companies can foster an environment where employees feel valued, understood, and adequately supported in their mental health journey. To drill down to the answer of "Why employees do not feel supported in their mental well-being”, consider sending out an anonymous survey to all employees including informal caregivers in your organization. You may be surprised at the responses. These responses will be a starting point in developing company guidelines to cultivate a supportive work environment.

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