Supporting Mental Health of Employees During and Beyond COVID-19

A Toolkit for Business Leaders and Managers

About this Toolkit

Informed by scientific evidence and best practices, this toolkit is designed to help business leaders and managers anticipate and take actions that effectively support employees’ mental health during COVID-19 and beyond. By making mental health an integral part of your COVID-19 recovery plan, your entire organization can thrive now and into the future. Read more here...

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Gordon Watson
CEO of AXA Asia


  Kathleen M. Pike, PhD
Professor & Director


Section One – Mental Health in the Context of COVID-19: The Big Picture

1. What to Expect 2. Why Your Employees’ Mental Health Matters at Work 3. Major Mental Health Impacts of COVID-19 4. The Benefits of Supporting Employees’ Mental Health

Section Two – Common COVID-19 Stressors that Impact Employees’ Mental Health

1. High Ambiguity and Uncertainty 2. Overwhelming COVID-19 Related Information in the Media and on Social Media 3. Risk of Infection 4. Physical Distancing and Social Isolation 5. Change in Work Demands, Structure, and Processes 6. Changes in Domestic Responsibilities that Increase Stress and/or Impede Work 7. Having a Loved One Sick with COVID-19 and/or Losing a Loved One 8. Financial Concerns and Job Security 9. Worsening of Associated Long-Term Health Conditions 10. Privacy and Confidentiality Concerns Related to New Monitoring and Tracking Efforts in the Workplace

Section Three – Effective Leadership During COVID-19

1. Communicate Clearly and Often 2. Promote Open and Two-way Communication 3. Normalize Employees’ Heightened Anxiety and Stress 4. Remember and Remind Employees that Mental Health is Important for Everyone 5. Make Mental Health a Normal Part of Your Conversations 6. Facilitate Peer and Team Support 7. Promote and Model Flexibility 8. Promote and Model Self-Care

Section Four – Having Constructive Conversations to Support Employee Mental Health in the Context of COVID-19

1. Overcoming the Fear of Discussing Mental Health 2. Planning a Conversation 3. Beginning the Conversation 4. Asking Questions to Keep the Conversation Going 5. What to Do if Your Colleague is Reluctant to Share How They Feel 6. The Importance of ‘Active’ Listening 7. Responding to What They Say 8. Agreeing on Next Steps 9. What if Something Unexpected Comes Up in Your Conversation? 10. Some Helpful Resources

Section Five – Putting it All Together - The Three Ps and Common Mental Health Concerns

1. Fear and Worry 2. Common Mental Disorders 3. Physical and Cognitive Concerns 4. Interpersonal Violence and Domestic Abuse 5. Alcohol and Other Substance Use 6. Grief 7. Burnout 8. Suicide Risk

Section Six – Additional Resources for Mental Health in the Workplace Related to COVID-19

This section provides additional information and resources that will help you support mental health of employees in your workplace during COVID-19 and beyond.