CEOs are beginning to recognize the importance of advancing mental wellness at work, especially as talent remains a top concern over the coming years.

I spoke to Dr Corey Yeager who is the Psychotherapist for the Detroit Pistons and who has worked with different influential organizations including the Oprah Winfrey Company.

Dr Yeager speaks openly about how executives and organizations still have a way to go when it comes to normalizing mental wellness.  When it comes to physical wellness, we have seen far greater advancement.  Generally people in organizations are free and comfortable to discuss their physical health, however mental wellness still carries a stigma, and we are not quite there yet with appreciating and normalizing the importance of mental wellness.

There are many things organizations can do to advance mental wellness.  Here are some of the top tips as discussed with Dr Corey Yeager.

Hire qualified therapeutic practitioners and promote psychoeducation.

Many companies are focused on strategic initiatives that will promote overall well being, but often still miss the mark on mental health. The simple fact is that mental wellness cannot effectively advance without the help of qualified therapeutic practitioners. 

Many organizations are set up with external coaches, consultants and Employee Assistance Programs to help their employees, but are not yet focused enough on holistic therapeutic and strategic intervention. As Dr Yeager mentions, “therapeutic staff are needed within corporations, just as they are now used in sports teams”.  

By providing psychoeducation through the use of qualified practitioners, CEOs and their companies can really advance the agenda of mental wellness at work, set an example for other companies and inturn, benefit from the results of increased performance and productivity.

Know how the “treatment” and “healing” of mental health can impact culture

For many companies, healing is an essential part of building a healthy culture. A culture of healing will offer people a safe space to improve their mental wellness and hence improve the overall wellbeing and productivity of a workforce.

Dr Yeager makes an important distinction for CEOs and organizations to understand.  That there is a difference between the “treatment” and “healing” of mental health.  He says that “healing is an inner process and can only occur within the individual, team and organization once the problems have been identified and correctly treated”.  

CEOs and organizations that better equip themselves to effectively treat the problems of mental health will in turn facilitate greater healing, which will benefit the culture in the long term.

Empower the next generation as they will demand better equity and care across mental wellness

Dr Yeager speaks about the next generation of leaders, and it is them who will advance the mental wellness space, and demand greater access and transparency when it comes to solutions for mental wellness.  Companies will be forced by the next generation to offer more personal and digital intervention, so it is up to them to be prepared for this change.  Leaders in companies can start now by better understanding the needs of this generation, and what their likely impact will be.

There is a new normal for mental wellness that is evolving in the workplace.  Some organizations are embracing this change, while others are far from normalizing mental wellness.  CEOs can start by promoting psycho education, hiring the right therapeutic professionals, focusing on improving their culture through mental wellness and preparing for the next generation of talent.

To learn more about how you can improve your mental wellness as a leader, you can purchase Dr Corey Yeager’s new book How Am I Doing? 40 Conversations To Have With Yourself. 

Ana Reed is the CEO and Founder of Newmanity, a global executive coaching and leadership consultancy. Ana is an award winning entrepreneur, thought leader, Forbes Council Member and ICF, PCC Accredited Coach. Using a transformative human-centered methodology, her company Newmanity enables leaders and organizations to realize their full ambition and maximize their human capital. To receive insider access to Newmanity’s exclusive content, email [email protected].