White House Roundtable Highlights Ways to Eliminate Stigma, Boost Support, and Share Best Practices for Mental Health in the Workplace

Representatives from various organizations came together for a roundtable on workplace mental health at the White House, including the National Policy Council, the Department of Labor, the Office of Personnel Administration, and the Department of Veterans Affairs. The discussion revolved around the Biden-Harris administration’s efforts to improve worker mental health in the federal workplace by promoting best practices. Among the participants were federal officials, union leaders, EAP vendors, mental health professionals, and advocates.

During the roundtable, the representatives discussed the importance of reducing stigma, stress, and improving mental health support in federal agencies, providing recommendations for best practices. The Department of Labor highlighted initiatives on mental health in the workplace and new public service announcements on creating mental health-friendly workplaces. Taryn Williams, Assistant Secretary for Disability Employment Policy at the Department of Labor, emphasized the impact of mental health-friendly workplaces on workers and expressed the department’s commitment to reducing stigma around mental health.

The Office of Human Resources discussed the importance of employee assistance programs (EAPs) and its incorporation in the new employee wellness program guidance released that day. Rob Schreiber, Deputy Director of OPM, highlighted the crucial role that EAPs play in minimizing negative stigma against seeking mental health treatment and promoting a supportive and safe workplace. The guidance provides resources for agency leaders, work-life coordinators, supervisors, and employees.

The roundtable aimed to recognize Mental Health Awareness Month and promote the federal government as a model employer. The government hopes to improve worker mental health by reducing stigma and stress and strengthening mental health support in federal workplaces.

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