World Mental Health Day 2023: Championing a Universal Human Right

woman holding a green ribbon, the symbol of mental health awareness, on her hands

By Lisa McKay, Senior Manager, Human Resources, GoGlobal

In today’s dynamic world, where borders have blurred and digital connectivity knows no bounds, the nature of work has transformed significantly. Remote and hybrid work arrangements have become the new norm, offering employees unprecedented flexibility and freedom. However, these shifts have also brought forth unique challenges to the wellbeing of our valued workforce. 

World Mental Health Day 2023, celebrated on October 10 this year, is centered around the theme that “Mental health is a universal human right.” At GoGlobal, a people-first international HR and Employer of Record (EOR) service provider, we are taking this opportunity to reflect upon our unwavering commitment to addressing mental health challenges in remote work and fostering a culture of wellbeing among our globally distributed workforce. 

The following are our top tips for championing mental health across borders: 

Honor the importance of mental health

Our journey towards prioritizing mental health begins with the acknowledgment that our people are our most valuable asset. To build the people-first organization we aspire to be, we recognize that wellbeing, both physical and emotional, must remain at our core.

Research conducted by Jesse Redlo, Ed.D., an adjunct professor at Nazareth College who has extensively studied mental health in the workplace, reveals a clear correlation: Companies that prioritize employee well-being, encompassing mental health, self-care and emotional intelligence, tend to witness heightened productivity, robust growth and greater individual success among their content and well-adjusted workforce.

Our global workforce is a mosaic of diversity, with team members facing varying personal and professional demands. Some, like our colleagues in Ukraine, are courageously managing professional roles while supporting their families, communities and country in a time of uncertainty. 

By fostering an environment that values mental wellbeing, we empower our employees to be the best versions of themselves, both personally and professionally. 

Cultivate courage, compassion and connection

Dr. Brené Brown aptly said, “Courage gives us a voice, and compassion gives us an ear. Without both, there is no opportunity for empathy and connection.” 

At GoGlobal, we believe that this trinity of courage, compassion and connection forms the foundation of a supportive work environment that promotes mental health as a universal human right. It’s our commitment to creating a space where employees can speak openly, find compassionate listeners and forge meaningful connections.

Promote work-life balance in remote work

Remote work, while liberating, can often clash the lines between our professional and personal lives. At GoGlobal, we’ve found a solution to this challenge by promoting work-life integration rather than rigid separation. We empower our employees to establish a rhythm that suits them, enabling them to fulfill both personal and professional obligations.

While advocating for clear boundaries, we also encourage regular breaks and open communication. Our employees have the flexibility to tailor their schedules to accommodate their individual circumstances, allowing them to prioritize self-care, spend quality time with their families and advance in their careers concurrently. More and more, we are finding this approach empowers our team members to enhance their productivity while maintaining their wellbeing.

In addition, we strive to build an inclusive and collaborative culture where mutual boundaries are respected. A strong support network ensures that our employees can promptly assist and support each other whenever the need arises.

Implement employee wellness programs

Employee wellness programs are at the heart of our commitment to wellbeing. We understand that remote workers may face unique challenges in maintaining both their physical and mental health. Therefore, we provide comprehensive wellness programs tailored to their needs. These initiatives include workshops, access to mental health resources and personalized wellness challenges.

We also launched our dedicated Employee Assistance Program (EAP) in 2023, providing a confidential and secure space for our staff to access professional assistance and valuable resources. Our commitment to providing comprehensive benefits across borders, including the EAP, reaffirms our dedication to cultivating a workplace culture that values the holistic wellbeing of our global team members. 

By investing in our employees’ wellbeing, we empower them to lead healthier lives and perform at their best.

Collaboratively create healthier workplaces 

As we come together to mark Global Wellness Day 2023, it’s crucial for business leaders to recognize the significance of World Mental Health Day as an opportunity to reflect on how they are championing mental health as a universal human right in the workplace.

At the same time, while companies can provide support and foster a positive, nurturing environment, it’s equally essential for individuals to take ownership of their wellbeing and discover the initiatives and strategies that resonate with them.

Together, through this collective effort, businesses and individuals alike can contribute to the creation of a healthier, happier and more interconnected community—where everyone has the opportunity to truly flourish. 

So, we invite you to self-reflect: What steps are you taking to prioritize mental wellbeing, both in your professional life and beyond? What else can we do to champion mental health as a universal human right around the world?

Contact us to talk with an international HR expert and learn more about how partnering with an EOR can help you create healthy remote workforces around the world.