OSHA, Georgia Agencies Collaborate to Encourage Mental Health Discussions through Stand-Downs

OSHA, Georgia Agencies Collaborate to Encourage Mental Health Discussions through Stand-Downs

The partnership between OSHA, Georgia Department of Public Health and Mental Health America of Georgia was announced during National Mental Health Awareness Month.

A new collaboration between OSHA and Georgia agencies focuses on the discussion of mental health in the workplace.

According to a news release, OSHA, Georgia Department of Public Health and Mental Health America of Georgia’s partnership promotes the use of safety-stand downs to talk about this. During a stand-down, everyone takes a break from working to discuss a topic, in this case, “caring for their mental health and supporting their co-workers' well-being.”

“The three-pillar objective provides information, resources and empowerment to help employers reduce exposure to mental health stressors and prevent work-related suicide,” per the news release.

Although workplace suicides reached a 27-year high in 2019 with a total of 307 suicides, they decreased in 2020 to 259 and again in 2021 to 236, per the Bureau of Labor Statistics. When it comes to work-related stress, OSHA reports that about four in five employees in the U.S. (or 83 percent) are affected.

"Nearly everyone faces workplace stress. Left unchecked, the strain may lead to serious mental illness. Employers must recognize these mental health challenges can have a direct impact on workers' and co-workers' safety and health. Guiding employees toward resources to protect and improve workers' mental health makes good business sense," said OSHA Area Director Jeffery Stawowy in Atlanta-West in the news release. "OSHA offers many resources and materials for employers to develop workplace programs to support mental health and help employees seek assistance."

To learn more about stress or to read OSHA resources, visit the agency’s workplace stress page.

The collaboration was announced during National Mental Health Awareness Month.

About the Author

Alex Saurman is a former Content Editor for Occupational Health & Safety,who has since joined OH&S’s client services team. She continues to work closely with OH&S’s editorial team and contributes to the magazine.

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