The Mental Health at Work Index allows organizations across industries to benchmark their programs and services, and use the personalized reports generated to help develop high-quality services and offerings that translate into real impact. The Index addresses a critical gap in workplace mental health: employees expect their employers to invest meaningfully in their mental health and wellbeing, but until now there has been no singular definition for what constitutes a “good” workplace mental health program. The Index framework provides that definition, and gives decision makers the objective, independent data they need to make informed strategic decisions that are in the best interests of their workforce and their businesses.
For the past five months, the Index has been exclusively available to One Mind at Work members, more than 30 of whom have participated in its beta testing. The Index is now publicly available for any company interested in measuring and improving how it addresses the mental health of its workforce. By completing the Index, employers can engage in a standardized assessment of organizational programs and practices that support the protection and promotion of workforce mental health, as well as gain access to an advice library that provides recommendations and resources to guide data-driven, strategic improvement and innovations. The Index is rooted in scientific principles from psychology, organizational behavior, and management systems. It measures maturity in ten categories: mental health strategy, leadership, workforce engagement, communication, organizational culture, mental health training, work design & environment, mental health benefits, employment practices and monitoring and reporting. More information on the creation of the tool can be found here.
The Index uses a five-point maturity scale, with five representing high maturity. Among the initial findings from beta testing of the Mental Health at Work Index:
- Despite the increased attention over the past few years, strategic efforts to support workforce mental health are still relatively underdeveloped. The most mature efforts are in the areas of mental health resources and benefits, with a benchmark score of 3.1, and related employment practices, with a benchmark score of 3.0. This suggests that employers are investing in areas where there are both legal and regulatory requirements and market-based workforce expectations.
- Less progress has been made in efforts that address the optimal use and impact of the available resources, benefits, and workplaces practices. The least mature areas are involvement and engagement of workers, with a benchmark score of 2.2, and leadership support for workforce mental health efforts, with a benchmark score of 2.3.
- Measuring, monitoring, and reporting efforts related to workforce mental health are also still at a relatively low maturity level, reflecting a benchmark score of 2.3. Without appropriate measurement, business leaders will be unable to make informed, strategic decisions about how to enhance workforce mental health most effectively.
- Additionally, while employers are providing resources and benefits to support workforce mental health, less emphasis is currently being placed on enterprise-level changes that would protect workers’ psychosocial well-being and minimize exposures to stress that can negatively impact workforce mental health.*NOTE: Preliminary data from the Mental Health at Work Index come from pilot and beta testing and, as such, may not be representative of the employer population as a whole.
Addressing an Enormous Opportunity with a Data-Driven Solution
The Mental Health at Work Index was launched to help organizations worldwide provide effective resources to support their workers’ mental well-being in the workplace. Despite the recent proliferation of mental health offerings, independent data or globalized standards do not currently exist to provide scientifically supported decision-making for workplace mental health programs. Research from the World Health Organization shows that 15% of working adults have a mental health condition. According to a survey from 2022, 81% of global employees agree that employers have a responsibility to help them manage their mental health. One Mind at Work has determined that employers have an enormous opportunity to support the mental health and wellbeing of their workforce, yet leaders are at a loss for how to create sustainable impact.
The Mental Health at Work Index convened a coalition of nine leading global organizations, forming the Founding Corporate Council. The founding member corporations consist of both new and existing One Mind at Work members who are committed to sponsoring the build of the Mental Health at Work Index and contributing their expertise and perspectives to its design. The founding members are:
- AXA Asia & Africa, Founding Principal Partner
- Bank of America
- Business Group on Health
- HCA Healthcare
- Jardine Matheson, MINDSET Care Limited (Singapore) and MINDSET Limited (Hong Kong)
- TELUS Health (formerly LifeWorks)
Christina McCarthy, Executive Director of One Mind at Work, said, “Overall, organizations are still at an early stage of developing a holistic mental health strategy that addresses protection of workers’ mental health, promotion of psychosocial well-being, and provision of access to information, resources, and services. These findings underscore just how difficult and nuanced this work truly is – even with committed leadership and attention, employers need a strategic approach that accounts for the differences from job to job within an organization.”
Dr. Kathleen M. Pike, Director of the Columbia University Mental Health + Work Design Lab said, “Just as the data shows there’s a clear problem, the data can lead us to a solution. The Mental Health at Work Index empowers leaders by providing them with objective, independent data to make informed, strategic decisions. This data is paired with a reservoir of expertise, guiding leaders though evidence-based approaches that translate into better health and performance for their workforce. We look forward to deeper insights over time as the database grows and we follow these organizations as their efforts improve and mature.”
Craig Moss, EVP-Measurement of Ethisphere, said, “We can’t assume progress is happening in workforce mental health efforts without a consistent and rigorous measurement system. Together, we’ve built a platform that allows organizations to benchmark their programs and services against other employers. Our algorithm-driven, personalized reports support the development of high-quality services and offerings that translate into real impact. The commitment to improving mental health in the workplace is real and tangible – and now organizations of all sizes, across all industries, can make their progress real and tangible, too. The Mental Health at Work Index defines what good looks like, creates a maturity ladder, and provides resources to make the improvement journey faster and more efficient.”
Gordon Watson, CEO of AXA Asia and Africa, said, “Our participation in the beta testing of the Mental Health at Work Index has underlined the impact it can have in helping organizations evaluate their efforts to support employee mind health. It finally provides a solution for CEOs to bridge the gap of how to effectively assess their programs and benchmark progress, thereby enabling them to make a clear business case to invest and expand their initiatives. Through this process, companies can be confident that they are achieving the best outcomes for their employees, which can help to make workplaces a positive influence on mental wellbeing.”
About One Mind and One Mind at Work
One Mind is a leading mental health non-profit that heals lives through science and advocacy. Around our collective vision of “Accelerating Brain Health for All”, One Mind is advancing a three-pronged program strategy of accelerating discoveries, scaling implementation, and transforming societal culture. Together, we are creating a world where all individuals facing brain health challenges can build healthy, productive lives. Learn more at onemind.org
As an arm of One Mind, One Mind at Work is a global coalition of organizations committed to the development and implementation of a gold standard for workplace mental health and well-being. With most of the world’s population spending one-third of their adult lives at work, employers have a tremendous opportunity to improve quality of life for all people and play a critical role in driving mental health solutions. Leaving mental health needs unaddressed has costly results like higher absenteeism, increased liability, and lost productivity. One Mind at Work believes that a committed group of CEOs can transform the way we view and approach mental health, brain fitness, and well-being in the workplace. Today, there are nearly 150 One Mind at Work member organizations.
About The Columbia University Mental Health + Work Design Lab
The Mental Health + Work Design Lab, led by Dr. Kathleen M. Pike, provides thought leadership, content expertise, scientific research, and strategic guidance on advancing mental health at work. The Mental Health + Work Design Lab has a long history of collaborating closely with a wide range of organizations – both non-profit and for-profit, around the world – to address mental health at work. As part of the Columbia-World Health Organization Center for Global Mental Health, Dr. Pike and colleagues contributed scientific analysis and reporting to the WHO Guidelines for Mental Health at Work. Providing targeted research reports, analytic models, survey instruments, and training programs, The Mental Health + Work Design Lab is committed to translating science into practice to improve mental health at work. The Mental Health + Work Design Lab streamlines the process of working with Columbia’s world-renowned researchers to bring scientific rigor to the pursuit of workforce mental health solutions.
Ethisphere is the global leader in defining and advancing the standards of ethical business practices that fuel corporate character, marketplace trust, and business success. Ethisphere has deep expertise in measuring and defining core ethics standards using data-driven insights that help companies enhance corporate character. Ethisphere honors superior achievement through its World’s Most Ethical Companies® recognition program, provides a community of industry experts with the Business Ethics Leadership Alliance (BELA), and showcases trends and best practices in ethics with Ethisphere Magazine. Ethisphere also helps to advance business performance through data-driven assessments, benchmarking, and guidance. For more information, visit ethisphere.com.
About AXA Asia and Africa
AXA Asia and Africa is part of AXA, a leading global insurer offering a range of innovative solutions covering health, life, and general insurance. We serve customers in Asia in mainland China, Hong Kong SAR, India, Indonesia, Japan, Philippines, South Korea, Thailand, and Vietnam. In Africa, we serve Algeria, Cameroon, Egypt, Gabon, Côte d’Ivoire, Lebanon, Morocco, Nigeria, and Senegal. We are also the largest foreign owned P&C insurance company in mainland China. Drawing on our global expertise coupled with our strong regional foundation, we are committed to acting as a partner to our customers in Asia and Africa, ensuring they have access to the protection they need to empower them in their daily lives.
AXA is proud to be the Official Principal Partner of Liverpool Football Club, supporting the shared goal of promoting healthy wellbeing and lifestyles, as well as making contributions to the local communities in which we operate. In Asia, AXA sponsors Japanese-Filipina professional golfer Yuka Saso, winner of the 2021 US Women’s Open, who embodies AXA’s brand signature, “Know You Can”, rooted in the understanding that confidence is essential for people to successfully achieve their goals.
Visit axa.com.hk/en/axa-asia for more information.
Mental Health at Work Index