Mental Health Policies & Programs in the Workplace: How you benefit

Thanks to DOLE, companies are getting a nudge in the right direction on getting started with implementing mental health policies in their own workplaces. 

The recently released Department Order No. 208 Series of 2020 (DO 208-20), provides a much-needed guideline on how to start mental health workplace policies and programs.

Ever since the Mental Health Act was signed by DOH Secretary Francisco T. Duque III on 22nd of January, 2019, it barely tapped the early adopters. 

When asked, many employees would say that their company does not have a mental health policy, or at least, are not aware that they have one in place.

More than ever, promoting and supporting psychological health awareness is a need for the well-being of the employees, which in turn would benefit the company.

Benefits of a Mental Health Program in the Workplace

  • Increased Productivity

In cost-benefit research conducted by the World Health Organization, for every 1 USD spent treating an employee’s mental disorder, there is a return of 4 USD in productivity.

  • Ability to immediately recognize and address mental health problems

An effective program could help employers and employees identify signs and symptoms of mental well-being issues, and by doing so they could immediately take action.

In a study conducted by Ateneo Bulatao Center for Psychological Services, the following are the top five mental health issues in the workplace:


  • Improve company culture

In some cases, the cause of psychological well-being issues stems from harassment and bullying at work. Ideally, the program or policy provides the means to identify and remedy such acts in accordance with Republic Act No. 10627, or more commonly referred to as the “Anti-Bullying Act of 2013.”

Doing so would lessen the bullies and harassment in the workplace and promote a better company atmosphere.

  • Reduce absenteeism or tardiness

The correlation between mental state and physical well-being is undeniable. Depression or anxiety could easily translate to physical ailments, making the employee messaging in that they won’t be coming in for their shift, or will be arriving late.

All in all, this becomes an added effort for those who do their timekeeping manually but could be resolved with a reliable biometric time & attendance device.

Last February 11, 2020, DOLE Secretary Silvestre H. Bello III signed the DO 208-20, and it is a good starting point for companies who want their employees and business to succeed. 

As the Richard Branson quote goes, “Take care of your employees and they’ll take care of your business. It’s as simple as that. Healthy, engaged employees are your top competitive advantage.”

About the author


Rayan Ramos