Black, Hispanic and Asian American-Pacific Islander individuals feel less comfortable engaging in mental health discussions in the workplace compared with their white colleagues, new research shows.
A survey conducted by National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) and The Hartford, an insurance company, found that 43% of white employees felt that their companies have an open and inclusive work environment that encourages a dialogue about mental health compared with 42% of Asian American-Pacific Islander employees, 36% of Hispanic employees and 33% of Black employees.
“Our research clearly highlights how intersectional aspects of people’s identities can affect how they perceive and experience mental health in the workplace,” NAMI CEO Daniel H. Gillison Jr., said in a press release from The Hartford. “We urge employers to act now to dispel stigma, expand access to mental health care and provide flexibility for more workers to get the help they deserve.”
When responding to whether they would feel comfortable speaking with their manager about their mental health, 49% of white employees reported they would, compared with 38% of Hispanic employees, 27% of Black employees and 25% of Asian American-Pacific Islander employees.
“As more companies spotlight mental health in the workplace, creating a psychologically safe work environment that enables everyone to be part of the conversation is paramount,” The Hartford chairman and CEO Christopher Swift said in the release. “Employers who prioritize diversity, equity and inclusion; invest in employee mental health; and lead with empathy will differentiate themselves in the marketplace, achieve better business outcomes and help millions of Americans enjoy healthier lives.”