One Mind at Work, Columbia University Mental Health + Work Design Lab, and Ethisphere Announce the Mental Health at Work Index, the First of Its Kind Comprehensive Strategy to Not Only Measure but Also Improve and Innovate Workplace Mental Health

One Mind at Work, a leading mental health non-profit, Columbia University Mental Health + Work Design Lab, and corporate ethical standards measurement company Ethisphere, have formed a partnership to develop the Mental Health at Work Index. The Index includes a standardized assessment of organizational programs and practices that support workforce mental health and an advice library that provides recommendations and resources to guide data-driven strategic improvement and innovations.

Accelerated by the COVID pandemic, around the world, the case for attending to mental health at work has never been greater. Research from the World Health Organization shows that 15 percent of working adults are affected by a mental health condition. The majority of workers expect their employers to support their mental health, and nearly all believe that employers could take actions that would make a real difference.

Recognizing the importance of providing a standardized tool to help organizations of all sizes and industries globally invest in sustainable and best-practice workplace mental health programs, a Founding Corporate Council of nine organizations have come together to help drive the development and adoption of the Mental Health at Work Index™. These founding members contribute their expertise and perspectives to ensure the practical value of the Index.

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The founding members include:

  • AXA, Asia & Africa, Founding Principal Partner
  • Aon
  • Bank of America
  • Business Group on Health
  • HCA Healthcare
  • Jardine Matheson, MINDSET Care Limited (Singapore) and MINDSET Limited (Hong Kong)
  • LifeWorks
  • Prudential
  • URAC

The Mental Health at Work Index™ will launch in early 2023 after the current beta testing phase is complete.

By completing The Mental Health at Work Index™, organizations can benchmark their programs and services, and use the personalized reports generated to help develop high-quality services and offerings that will translate into real impact.

Aligned with global guidance and standards, including International Organization for Standardization, Sustainability Accounting Standards Board, and the recently released World Health Organization guidelines, the Index guides leaders through an algorithm-driven library of resources and practical recommendations. These resources and evidence-based recommendations will provide business leaders with real data to inform strategic decision making about what has impact when it comes to mental health programs.

The Mental Health at Work Index “Three Ps Framework” assesses workforce mental health programs across the continuum of Protection, Promotion and Provision of care. The assessment dives deep into 10 organizational categories: mental health strategy, leadership, workforce engagement, communication, organizational culture, mental health training, work environment, mental health benefits, employment practices and monitoring and reporting.

Christina McCarthy, Executive Director of One Mind at Work, said, “The pandemic has highlighted the need for companies to invest in sustainable mental health strategies to support their employees. While approaches vary across different companies, the evidenced-based and technology-enabled Mental Health at Work Index sets a common standard, with best practice guidelines on the evaluation of workplace mental health initiatives that are vital in ensuring their success. It also helps equip companies with easy-to-access resources and practical recommendations to support mental health in the workplace in impactful, measurable ways.”

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Dr. Kathleen M. Pike, Director of the Columbia University Mental Health + Work Design Lab said, “The data don’t lie. Mental health is impacting the workforce at every company and ignoring it is not an option. The Mental Health at Work Index is designed to empower leaders who recognize the needs of their workforce and are ready to step up on this critical issue. By partnering with One Mind and Ethisphere, we are tapping into a reservoir of expertise, creating evidence-based solutions to help leaders drive data-informed strategies that translate into better health and greater productivity for workers, while also shoring up recruitment and retention of talent.”

Craig Moss, EVP-Measurement of Ethisphere, said, “It is exciting to partner with Columbia University Mental Health + Work Design Lab and One Mind to bring our expertise in developing maturity assessments to the critical topic of mental health practices. Ultimately, companies need to create a culture that supports the mental health of their workforce. The Mental Health at Work Index will define what good looks like, create a maturity ladder and provide resources to make the improvement journey faster and more efficient. Under the leadership of AXA, the Founding Corporate Council has been a tremendous resource in helping us understand current practices, challenges, and opportunities for improvement.”

Gordon Watson, CEO of AXA Asia and Africa, said, “We are proud to be the founding principal partner of this pioneering Mental Health at Work Index, taking a leading role in collaborating with One Mind, Columbia University Mental Health + Work Design Lab, and Ethisphere. While companies are increasingly stepping up with expanded benefits to support the mental well-being of their people, more is needed when it comes to benchmarking progress made. The Index will address this critical gap by establishing a guided path for companies to achieve measurable progress in line with global standards. This is essential as companies continue to invest in and refine their mental health initiatives and ultimately deliver better mental health outcomes for employees.”

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