SAMHSA: Expanding Implementation of Mental Health Awareness Trainings (MHAT) in the Workplace
In 2020, approximately 21 percent of U.S. adults aged 18 and older (52.9 million people) were living with a mental illness in the past year. Nearly five percent of adults (12.2 million people) and 12 percent of young people (3 million) reported suicidal ideation over the same period. In addition, 17 percent of young people aged 12 to 17 (4.1 million) experienced a past-year major depressive episode. Further, throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, concerns related to mental health issues increased, especially among the workforce.
Providing mental health awareness training (MHAT) in the workplace can equip an organization’s employees with the knowledge and skills to:
- Recognize people who may need mental health support
- Respond appropriately
- Facilitate getting these individuals the help they need
MHATs refers to trainings that increase awareness of and sensitivity to the needs of individuals with or at risk for mental illnesses and/or suicide. It provides tools to recognize when someone needs help and know how to respond. It can also help reduce stigma. This advisory from SAMHSA promotes implementation of MHATs by targeting the workplace more broadly, from traditional settings to places in the community people go all the time.