KC Chamber's Healthy KC Program Releases Mental Health at Work Action Guide


Healthy KC

Employees dealing with depression miss nearly 5 days of work every 3 months. For every employee experiencing mental illness, employers incur $15,000 per year in costs. Those are just two reasons the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce’s Healthy KC Program released its first ever Mental Health at Work Action Guide.

This guide is a robust 23-page resource designed for workplaces of all sizes.

Healthy KC began working on the guide in 2023 in partnership with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City, Presenting Sponsor for Healthy KC.

“Addressing mental health in and out of the workplace has become more pertinent than ever before. One in five American adults reports experiencing a mental illness with more than half of those affected not receiving treatment,” said Ayo Ajaiyeoba, DVP, Medical Director Employer Health Solutions, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City. “The Healthy KC Mental Health at Work Action Guide is an invaluable resource to help employers tailor their strategies to address this dire need.”

Focusing on employee mental well-being is important to not only foster an inclusive workplace culture, but to promote productivity and employee engagement. When an employee's mental well-being is not prioritized, productivity and retention decrease and absenteeism increases,” said Joe Reardon, President & CEO of the KC Chamber.

The guide features best practices, including how to:

  • Assess mental health needs and measure the impact.
  • Access resources.
  • Equip managers and leaders.
  • Make a plan for a mental health crisis.
  • Build a mental health strategy using a lens of diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Healthy KC’s 2020 Workplace Mental Health Assessment determined that most Kansas City workplaces did not have a workplace mental health action plan in place. As mental health becomes a greater priority in the workplace, this guide was designed to be adaptable to each organization’s individual needs. To get the most out of the guide, companies are encouraged to attend the Healthy KC Workshop Series for additional tools. The next one will focus on creating an action plan, August 2 at 8:00 a.m. in the KC Chamber Board Room.

Healthy KC is a regional health and wellness program organized by the KC Chamber and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City, with broad support from business, medical, philanthropic, and community health organizations. The goal is to create a culture of health and wellness in Greater Kansas City.