May: Show Employees You Care About Their Mental Health, Too

In this blog series, we’ll give you month-by-month topics about how to communicate employee benefits, and we’ll tee up messaging and ideas proven to grab attention. Plus, throughout the series, you’ll find downloadable templates and examples that save you the brain drain so you can get started quickly.

This blog issue focuses on May, but our downloadable calendar gives you a full 12 months of content

May: Show Employees You Care About Their Mental Health, Too

After the last couple years, employees are feeling vulnerable…physically, emotionally, and financially. May is Mental Health Awareness month, and it’s a great time to make sure employees know about all the benefits and programs that can help them ease stress, find professional help, and offer some peace of mind.

EAP utilization rates hover around 10%. Help more employees by putting out more EAP communications.

Theme/Message #1: We Support the Whole You. And Your Whole Family

When employees think about the benefits a company offers, their first thoughts go to medical, dental, and vision. They expect some level of support for their physical health. But do they know about all the emotional and financial support available to them?

Consider these messages as part of a whole campaign:

Theme/MessageHow to Deliver It
“We support the whole you — physically, emotionally, and financially.” Remind employees their EAP supports all facets of employee wellness.  Show them all the services available from free counseling and online resources to legal and financial guidance.   Create a one-page, simple handout (and email for desk workers) that summarizes the EAP services.
Hand out (and email) daily/weekly “Did you know?” topics that each cover a different EAP service.   
“The EAP is there for your whole family.” Employees often forget this, and some EAPs even support family members outside the household. Be sure to stress and clarify the number of free sessions.  Create index-card handouts for safety meetings, huddles, or manager 1:1s. Be sure to highlight this: “Six free sessions per family member, for each separate concern.”
See if your EAP has a mirror cling you can post throughout work areas, and a magnet you can mail to employees’ homes. Encourage employees to post the magnet on their home fridge — so all family members see it.  
“Our whole company is ‘StigmaFree’.”“Our whole company is ‘StigmaFree’.” Pledge to be a StigmaFree company through the National Alliance on Mental Illness. Be sure to download their great company resources.  
Combine all these messages on posters in employee-only bathrooms (exudes privacy) or handed out at the end of workdays. Include a QR code that links to the EAP sign-up page. (These days, everyone takes their phone to the bathroom!)    

Theme/Message #2: Life Is Unpredictable. Here’s Some Peace of Mind

When life gives you lemons. No matter how many cute sayings we’ve all heard (and used), life can really go sour. The mental and financial stress of a big, unexpected event can wreak havoc on a family, especially for people with no savings cushion. Remind employees about benefits that can protect them:

Theme/MessageHow to Deliver It
“Sign up anytime for these peace-of-mind programs.”In addition to the EAP, promote benefits like pet insurance, identity theft protection, student loan refinancing, home and auto insurance, etc.
“Expect the unexpected. Stress less if it happens.”Although benefits like critical illness and accident insurance may only be available during Open Enrollment, you can still spread awareness, so employees are educated when the opportunity comes around.

Employees are stressed and families are struggling. You work hard to provide benefits that can help. You almost certainly need to remind them.

Stay tuned and watch for next month’s blog with messaging to help employees make the most of their health savings account and flexible spending accounts.

As we head through 2022, you can find other blogs in this series by typing “year-round calendar” in the search area at the top of our website.

Download the year-round communications calendar – real ideas and examples