OPM Staff Fact Sheet – Federal Workplace Supports Mental Health

Employee Fact Sheet

Mental health is critical to individual well-being, workplace effectiveness, and the functioning of a community. Every employee plays a vital role in creating a positive work environment, understanding what it means to be mentally healthy, and supporting those who may be facing challenges. This fact sheet will help you gain insight into mental health statistics and issues and learn what you can do if you are concerned about someone.

  1. Did you know . . .
  • Nearly one quarter of the U.S. workforce experiences a mental health or substance use problem each year.
  • Many workers have children, spouses, or other loved ones experiencing symptoms of mental illness or a substance abuse condition.
  • Mental health and substance abuse conditions and disorders can lead to increased absenteeism and turnover, as well as decreased work quality and productivity.
  • An average of 100 Americans die each day as a result of suicide, a leading cause of death among working aged Americans.
  1. What are the signs of a mental health problem?
  • Individuals with deteriorating mental health may exhibit changes in their mood, interactions, or performance at work. These include difficulties in making decisions, repeatedly missing deadlines, missing and/or being late to work, reduced quality of work, distractibility, and a general lack of interest and focus.
  • Individuals at risk of suicide may talk about wanting to die, feeling hopeless or having no reason to live, or about feeling trapped, in unbearable pain, or being a burden to others. Other indicators include increased use of alcohol or drugs, sleeping too little or too much, withdrawing or becoming isolated.
  1. Where can I learn more?
  1. If you are concerned about symptoms in yourself, a co-worker, or a loved one, help is available.
  • Mental health problems are treatable and best addressed before they escalate. Your Agency’s Employee Assistance Program is a great resource. Contact them through your local Human Resources office, health unit, or your Agency’s intranet site.
  • For information on local mental health services, see SAMHSA’s Mental Health Treatment Locator at: http://findtreatment.samhsa.gov/MHTreatmentLocator/(link is external)
  • If you believe someone is in immediate danger, call 911 or seek care at the nearest hospital or emergency room.

Don’t be afraid to reach out to those you believe need help. Asking if an individual is thinking about killing themselves communicates your concern and will not put the idea into their heads or make it more likely that they will attempt suicide.

If you need assistance assessing the situation or talking to a friend or co-worker in distress, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline toll-free at 800-273-TALK (8255). You will be connected to a trained crisis worker immediately.