COVID and the pandemic moved mental health to the top of the leaders’ list. 

You may be thinking, I am blessed, my team is fine, so it does not pertain to me. And this may be true and this is great!

And yet, I would urge you not to think that this is some “special” case for “broken” people. 

Statistics show that half of us will encounter some sort of mental issues in our lives and there is a wide spectrum of what mental strain could look like. 

I would not want you to assume that your team is doing “fine” until someone snaps and it’s too late. At the very least, this puts a strain on the rest of the team, on you, not to mention the ramifications for the person themselves.

McKinsey Co had a Live webcast on mental health issues this week. In case you haven’t been able to attend, below is a summary for you (with some additional analysis from yours truly):

➡️ Mental health is and will continue to be top of mind for the next 8-18 months:

🎯 90% of CEOs realize the impact of mental health 

🎯 60% take action

🎯 39% appointed a C-suit level mental health manager


➡️ And for a good reason:

🎯 41% of American adults reported adverse mental health conditions in June 2020.

🎯 This number increases to 75% (!) for 18-24-year-old adults.


➡️ There is a business case to provide mental health and wellness support.

🎯 Absenteeism falls 30%

🎯 80% of employees improved work efficacy and satisfaction when treated

🎯 There is a 4x ROI on treating anxiety and depression based on employee profitability


➡️ There is a demand for mental health and wellness support, especially from younger employees.

🎯 Around 60% of Gen Z respondents consider mental health resources as critical when choosing an employer and staying with it.

And yet….

➡️ When it comes to mental health and wellbeing, leaders may be missing some important facts and awareness:

🎯 71% of employer respondents believe they support employee mental health well or very well VS. 27% of employee respondents believe this to be the case.

🎯 31% of employers believe they focus on access to mental health treatments VS. 67% of employees with mental health needs indicate it is challenging to access care.

🎯 20% of employers indicate reducing stigma as a top mental health priority VS. 68% of employees report some degree of stigma towards mental health in the workplace.


➡️ What can be done:

🎯 Lead by example and demonstrate commitment from the top (appointing a high-level mental health officer is one way to do this, another one is for leaders to communicate about this openly and often, and show by example participating in resilience-building programs).

🎯 Cultivate open-line communications. People should feel safe to share openly and not fear to be punished for this. Leaders - promote mental health resources at regular intervals, share information across multiple channels, and tailor and enhance communications to employees with higher acuity needs. 

🎯 Guarantee parity between mental and physical health benefits. 

🎯 Ensure access to resources and promote the adaptation of the available programs and tools.

🎯 Promote employee self-care skill-building, and resilience.  

Wellbeing is a skill, especially now when work can invade any minute of our lives (it was the case even before the widespread working from home due to technology and will only get more intense). 

As the work has been gradually invading more and more of the personal time, it was lagging to reciprocate, which resulted in unbalanced relationships, and could contribute to loss of talent and reduced engagement and productivity.


➡️ It is the time the organizations eliminate culture when personal needs are irrelevant at work.

🎯 Track employee mental health and wellness; develop processes to respond to the results of your findings.

🎯 Routinely survey employees to understand whether benefits match their needs.

🎯 Connect well-being metrics and performance targets.


‼️And most importantly, really mean it!

🎯  Look out for signs - with compassion, not fear. 

🎯 Ask open-ended questions - and be ready to really listen and take action, if needed.


Who can you reach out to today to check on?



Sveta Parilova enjoys helping companies to build an inclusive and supporting environment that keeps employees engaged, helps them perform at their best, unlock their leadership potentials, and thrive.

As a leadership coach and consultant, she is especially passionate about supporting conscious leaders, high performers, and women who want to feel confident and impactful at work while feeling whole and enjoying relationships and personal life.

Click here to schedule a Complimentary Discovery Session and learn more!

LinkedIn (Updated):

Svetlana Parilova
Thrive Network International, LLC