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Understanding the Intersection of Mental Health, Wellness, and DEI in the Workplace

2 min.

Dr. Chelsi Clark, Ph.D., NCSP, LPC, Charlie Health’s Director of BIPOC Group Quality and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Initiatives at Charlie Health on the link between mental health and DEI in the workplace.

By: Dr. Chelsi Clark, Ph.D., NCSP, LPC

April 3, 2024


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Table of Contents

Recognizing the intricate connection between mental health, wellness, and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) in the workplace is paramount for cultivating a supportive and inclusive organizational culture. DEI initiatives are designed to foster a workplace where every employee feels valued, respected, and included, irrespective of their demographic attributes. This inclusive atmosphere is pivotal for bolstering the mental health and overall wellness of employees.

Research has consistently shown the intrinsic link between mental health, wellness, and DEI in the workplace (Fleming, 2023). When employees feel a sense of inclusion and value, they are more likely to experience a profound sense of belonging and psychological safety, thus contributing to positive mental health outcomes. Furthermore, individuals from diverse backgrounds often encounter unique challenges that can impact their mental well-being.

To support the mental health and wellness of employees, companies can adopt various measures:

  1. Providing mental health resources and support: Offering employee assistance programs, counseling services, and access to mental health resources can aid employees in managing their mental health effectively.
  1. Promoting open communication and destigmatizing mental health: Creating an environment where employees feel comfortable discussing their mental health concerns openly, without fear of discrimination or judgment, can help destigmatize mental health issues.
  1. Offering flexibility and work-life balance: Implementing policies that support work-life balance, such as flexible work hours and remote work options, can contribute significantly to employee well-being.
  1. Promoting diversity and inclusion: Actively working towards building a diverse and inclusive workforce through inclusive hiring practices, equal opportunities for advancement, and the establishment of affinity groups can enhance overall employee well-being.
  1. Promoting education and awareness: Providing training and workshops and promoting self-care practices can increase awareness about mental health issues and available resources.
  1. Regular communication about mental health initiatives: Consistently communicating about available mental health resources, encouraging employees to prioritize their mental well-being, and updating employees on the company’s commitment to supporting mental health and wellness is vital.

Mental health is crucial for individuals everywhere, transcending beyond the absence of a mental health condition. It is integral to overall well-being, enabling individuals to realize their full potential, exhibit resilience in the face of adversity, maintain productivity in various aspects of life, form meaningful relationships, and contribute positively to their communities. Recognizing the heightened risk of poor mental health among certain groups, including Black and ethnic minority communities, people with long-term physical conditions, LGBTQIA+ individuals, and people with disabilities underscores the importance of creating mentally healthy workplaces to foster diversity, equity, and inclusion (Guthrie et al., 2017). Creating a mentally healthy workplace requires continuous commitment and investment. It involves ongoing evaluation and improvement of policies, practices, and resources to meet the evolving needs of employees.


Barber, L. K., Grawitch, M. J., & Maloney, P. W. (2016). Work-life balance: Contemporary perspectives.

Fleming, R.S. (2023). Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. In: Preparing for a Successful Faculty Career. Springer Texts in Education. Springer, Cham.

Guthrie S, Lichten CA, Van Belle J, Ball S, Knack A, Hofman J. Understanding mental health in the research environment: A Rapid Evidence Assessment. Rand Health Q. 2018 Apr 1;7(3):2. PMID: 29607246; PMCID: PMC5873519.

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