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A majority (88 per cent) of human resources professionals believe mental-health resources can increase productivity, employee retention (86 per cent) and organizational return on investment (78 per cent), according to a new survey by the Society for Human Resource Management Foundation.

It found while 90 per cent of respondents said mental-health resources can serve as a preventive measure for burnout before it appears, only 58 per cent said their organization is offering sufficient mental-health support to workers. Three-quarters (78 per cent) of employers said they offer or plan to offer mental-health benefits.

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While two-thirds (68 per cent) of HR professionals said they want to include mental-health and resiliency workshops in their work schedules, just 26 per cent of employers provide these programs.

Among employers that have implemented processes to evaluate their employees’ health, the top three metrics are employee engagement surveys (48 per cent), mental-health resource utilization (47 per cent) and productivity and attendance (43 per cent).

More than half (58 per cent) of employees said a healthy work-life balance is more important than financial compensation. A third (35 per cent) said mental-health benefits are more important than higher pay or salary, while 29 per cent said they value mental-health perks like meditation or yoga more than higher pay.

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“The importance of putting the mental wellness of our employees first cannot be underscored enough,” said Wendi Safstrom, president of the foundation, in a press release. “HR professionals, employers and people managers alike can play an important role in the lives of their employees by assisting them in finding the resources they need while simultaneously reducing stigma.”