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Black workers report more barriers to mental health support

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Black workers in the U.S. face greater barriers to mental health support, a finding which highlights a need for companywide education, according to a July 20 report from The Hartford and the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

Researchers found that Black workers were more likely to rate their mental health as “fair/poor” compared to their White, Hispanic/Latino, and Asian American/Pacific Islander peers. Black workers were less likely to say their employer had empathetic leadership and an open, inclusive environment that encourages discussions about mental health.

Among other barriers, Black workers were more likely to say they encounter difficulty discussing mental health at work due to their race, ethnicity, cultural background or gender identity. Black workers were also more likely to report exclusion, hostility and discrimination at work that affected their mental health.

To address those barriers, The Hartford and NAMI recommended employers have senior leaders lead initiatives that normalize talking about mental health. Employers also can provide companywide mental health education and create employee resource groups to serve as safe, accepting spaces.

“All Americans deserve safe, supportive and mentally healthy work environments,” said Christopher Swift, The Hartford’s chairman and CEO, in a statement. “It is vital that companies continue to break down stigma and prioritize diversity, equity and inclusion.”

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