Getting leaders to listen: 5 actions to build the workplace mental health case

MHA Admin

Tue, 09/06/2022 – 12:38

By Taylor Adams, Director of Workplace Mental Health

In recent years, many organizational leaders have increasingly prioritized workplace mental health. However, 4 in 5 workers still report untenable rates of stress, burnout, and mental health concerns, according to MHA’s Mind the Workplace 2022 Report. Much work still needs to be done to support workers, especially for employers not considering mental health. Fortunately, workers can serve as mental health advocates and affect change (and have a history of doing so) at the grassroots level.

If leadership is not receptive or engaged in improving workplace mental health, here are five actions workers can take to draft a support case:

1. Identify the objectives.

Whether your goal is to serve as the liaison between staff and leadership, provide input on policy or program changes that impact worker well-being, or reduce stigma and educate staff about mental health and resources, identify the objectives you hope to accomplish as a mental health advocate at work.

2. Provide the background.

Countless research demonstrates the massive return of investing in worker mental health. Employers prioritizing mental health see its positive impact on employee retention, engagement, and health care costs. Put workplace mental health statistics into perspective for your employer by crunching the numbers. You can estimate the cost of mental health conditions in the workplace using the American Psychological Association Foundation’s Depression Calculator or the National Safety Council’s Mental Health Cost Calculator.

3. Outline the proposed activities.

As a mental health advocate, be specific and realistic about your proposed activities to achieve your objectives. The activities you choose should reflect workers’ wellness needs, consider available resources, be culturally responsive, and be replicable across departments or job functions. Examples include establishing a mental health employee resource group (ERG), planning an awareness campaign, coordinating a wellness event or speaking engagement, executing a worker well-being survey, or participating in MHA’s Bell Seal national certification program.

4. Request specific support from leadership.

Describe in detail what type of support you need from leadership to execute your proposed activities and accomplish your goals. You might ask for leadership sponsorship or participation, specific allocated work hours to attend to the activities, a budget to cover the expenses of mental health-related events, or a clear procedure to provide feedback to leadership.

5. Discuss the potential impact.

Both employers and employees receive a host of benefits from a workplace that supports mental health. Employees are happier, more productive, and more loyal. Employers attract and retain employees and, ultimately, improve overall operations. Share how your efforts would contribute to a positive change within your workplace, including how they could be measured for both employer and employee satisfaction.

Find a sample support case letter to leadership in MHA’s first-ever Workplace Mental Health Toolkit: Creating a Culture of Support and Well-being, a guide to help organizations develop the foundation for a mentally healthy workplace. The toolkit also prepares employers for MHA’s Bell Seal for Workplace Mental Health 2023-23 application cycle that is now open.

Download the Workplace Mental Health Toolkit

Apply for the Bell Seal


The Capital City Emergency “Level II” Trauma & Wellness Center will house a “state of the art” Outreach Community Resource Center, that will provide case management, mental health community advocacy, and oversight from the M.I. Mother’s Keeper mental health advocates. 
The Capital City Emergency “Level II” Trauma & Wellness Center will offer patrons access to immediate coverage by general surgeons as well as coverage by the specialties of orthopedic surgery, neurosurgery, anesthesiology, emergency medicine, radiology and critical care.
Our goal is to help people in the best way possible in an effort to preserve and to save more lives in the Nation’s Capital and beyond.

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Code Red
Gunshot Victim
Life Threatening Wounds
Physical Assault Victim
Severely Injured Auto Accident Victim
Burn Victim
Choking & Breathing Obstructions
and more…


Child Sex Assault Victim
Domestic Violence Victim
Drug Overdose
Rape/Sex Crime Victim
Suicide Watch
Trafficking Victim
Nervous Breakdown
and more…

Mental Health

At Capital City Emergency Trauma & Wellness Center patrons with mental health emergencies that include life threatening situations in which an individual is imminently threatening harm to self or others, severely disoriented or out of touch with reality, has a severe inability to function or is otherwise distraught and out of control, will have access to quality and psychiatric emergency services and referrals.

Physical Health

Whether your life threatening medical emergency involves excessive or uncontrollable bleeding, head injury. difficulty with breathing, severe pain, heart attack, vision impairments, stroke, physically collapsing, or seizure related, rest assured that our professionals will properly assess and evaluate the level of response that will be most needed to help provide stabilized care solutions and minimize complications as well as reduce early mortality.

Holistic Healthcare

We offer healthcare solutions that will support the whole person which includes their physical, psychological, emotional, social, & spiritual wellbeing. Research supports that because your mental state can affect your overall health we support and offer the inclusion of complimentary and alternative medicine(CAM) practitioners and naturopathic doctor recommendations and referrals as a part of our Outreach Community Resource Center’s care regimen and support.


Emergency care can typically result in traumatic injuries for which rehabilitation becomes an essential component of care in trying to achieve the best long-term outcomes for the patient. In addition to speeding up recovery times and helping to prevent further complications, rehabilitative care also helps to support a patient’s self-managed recovery once discharged from our facility. Our Outreach Community Resource Center works closely with our trauma center’s discharge department to assure that patrons requiring these services are linked with qualified professionals who will be accountable to the standard of care required to help the patron be successful in their recovery.

Social Services

Our “state of the art” Outreach Community Resource Center intends to promote “expansive” beneficial community enriching services, programs, case management, & linkage to “approved” partner resources and supports in all of the following intended areas and more:

Social Services

  • Clothing
  • Food Pantry
  • Housing/Shelter
  • I.D. Credentials
  • Senior Wellness Check
  • Toiletries
  • Transportation
  • Etc.

Extended Family Services

  • Child Care
  • Credit Counseling
  • Family Court Services
  • Legal Aide

Career Training

  • Apprenticeship programs
  • Computer/Graphics Training
  • Culinary Program  
  • GED Courses
  • Hospitality Training
  • Job Etiquette & Grooming
  • Resume’ Prep
  • Sales Training
  • Software/Technology workshops
  • Small Business Training

Return Citizen
Program Partner
(Bridging the Gap)

  • Case Management
  • Temporary Boarding/Housing
  • Transitional Program Registration

Prevention/Intervention Outreach,
Workshops, & Programs

  • After-school Behavioral Health Program
  • Civic Engagement / Volunteer Sign-up
  • Fatherhood Rites of Passage
  • Gun Violence Town Hall Forum
  • Life Coaching & Coping Strategies
  • Marriage Counseling Workshops
  • Medicare Informational Workshops
  • Mentorship Training
  • Parental Classes
  • Support Groups
  • Town Hall Discussions
  • Violence De-Escalation Training
  • Voter Registration

Nutritional Outreach

  • Cooking Demonstrations
  • Dietary Programs
  • Exercise Classes
  • Recipe Sharing Workshops
  • Meal Prep

Community Outreach

The Healthy DC & Me Leadership Coalition is partnering with the M.I. Mother’s Keeper Mental Health advocacy organization to provide outreach services on the community level as an aid in reducing the existent health inequities that many District citizens are facing as a direct result of the presence of debilitating social determinants and the lack of culturally appropriate care choices and realities for community members residing in marginalized and lower-income communities.

It is the vision and intentions of the M.I. Mother’s Keeper Mental Health Advocates organization to help improve the quality of living for citizens living in our Nation’s Capital and beyond by overseeing the delicate linkage to services and by maintaining higher standards of care accountability for deserving citizens of the Nation’s Capital.

For more information or to enroll as one of our service providers, please email us at: