WASHINGTON - CEOs from five of the nation’s leading nonprofit organizations are calling for an increased commitment by American business and nonprofit leaders to transform the nation’s workplace culture by prioritizing employee mental health. The call comes at the outset of Mental Health Awareness Month and in response to the psychological impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on America’s workforce.

The CEOs who formed the group CEO’s Advancing Health Equity first joined forces during the COVID-19 pandemic to raise awareness and improve health equity. This new initiative, driven by the mental health crisis, urges employers to strive for mental health excellence in the workplace by committing to these practices and policies that are essential to sustaining employee mental health:

  • Training managers to support employees’ mental health
  • Increasing employees’ options for where, when and how they work
  • Re-examining organizational health insurance policies with a focus on mental health
  • Listening to what employees need and using their feedback to improve and evolve the workplace culture
  • Taking a critical look at organizational policies through a lens of equity, diversity and inclusion

The workplace—where many spend most of their waking hours each week—is a critical setting for understanding and supporting mental health. CEOs are well-positioned to confront America’s mental health crisis and influence a positive culture shift.

The five executives who comprise the group CEOs Advancing Health Equity are nonprofit leaders Georges C. Benjamin, MD, of the American Public Health Association, Arthur C. Evans Jr., PhD, American Psychological Association, Marc Ott, International City/County Management Association, Clarence Anthony, National League of Cities and Suzanne McCormick, YMCA of the USA. The group recognizes that the steps leaders take to support employees at work can empower them to thrive in other areas of their lives, ensuring their workforce and organization's long-term health and success.

Leaders can visit www.apa.org/workplace-mental-health to enlist their organizations and learn specific, research-supported steps to bolster employees’ mental health and foster a psychologically healthy workplace. More information on improving employees’ mental health is available at www.apa.org/workplace-mental-health.

About CEOs Advancing Health Equity

CEOs Advancing Health Equity is a group of executives from some of the nation’s largest non-governmental, nonprofit organizations who joined forces during the COVID-19 pandemic to raise awareness and improve health equity, with a focus on vaccines. In response to the pandemic and during Mental Health Awareness Month, these CEOs are calling for a workplace culture shift to address mental health stigma and support employee well-being. Organizations involved are the American Public Health Association, American Psychological Association, International City/County Management Association, National League of Cities, and YMCA of the USA.

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