Skip to main content

How can we address mental health in our employee surveys?

Millions of employees spend a large part of their day, and lifetime, at work, increasing the effect that workplaces can have on employees’ mental health. In 2015, MHA embarked on a two-year research project on workplace mental health with the launch of the Work Health Survey. In 2018, MHA analyzed over 17,000 employee responses across 19 industries in the U.S. and published the first-ever Mind the Workplace 2018 Report.

Since then, MHA has released the second edition of the Mind the Workplace 2019 Report, measuring the attitudes and perceptions of nearly 10,000 employees. Survey questions were designed to collect data on company culture, workplace stress, employee engagement, and managerial style. MHA’s research is part of an ongoing commitment to uncovering workplace disparities and addressing the mental health needs of the workforce.

Based on the Work Health Survey, the following questions and statements can be adapted and incorporated into your company’s employee engagement or satisfaction survey to determine how workplace stress impacts your employees. Individuals were asked to rate each question/statement below using the following scale: Never, Rarely, Sometimes, Often, Always.

Company and Managerial Support

  1. My supervisor provides emotional support to help me manage my stress.
  2. My employer provides the appropriate resources to help employees manage stress.
  3. I know what resources I can use if I feel like I need emotional support (e.g. accessing insurance benefits, mental health benefits, employee assistance programs, or onsite supports).
  4. My supervisor checks in on me when I feel stressed about my work responsibilities.
  5. I can talk to my supervisor to change stressful things about my work (e.g. workload, time off, changing tasks/responsibilities).
  6. I am afraid of getting punished for taking a day off to attend to my mental health.
  7. It is safer to remain silent about my workplace stress.

Personal Impact of Workplace Stress

  1. Workplace issues negatively affect my sleep.
  2. The stress from my job affects my relationships with my friends or family.
  3. I feel emotionally drained from my work.
  4. I really don’t care what happens to my colleagues or clients at my job.
  5. I feel more callous toward people since I took this job.
  6. I enjoy my personal time without being distracted or stressed by my work obligations.
  7. To cope with workplace stress, I engage in unhealthy behaviors such as drinking or crying regularly.

Mental Illness in the Workplace

  1. My workplace stress affects how I manage my mental illness (e.g. depression, anxiety).
  2. I am comfortable reporting dishonest or unfair practices to human resources or management.
  3. My employer provides a safe and supportive environment for employees who live with mental illness.

If your company is interested in better understanding the mental health needs of your employees, consider becoming an Associate Member of MHA. Associate Members receive trackable custom links to MHA’s online mental health screening tools (which collect over 3,000 screens daily with over 5,000,000 total mental health screens to date). For more information, please click here.

As an employee, how does your workplace measure up for mental health? Learn more information about workplace mental health, and contribute to MHA’s efforts to address the mental health needs of the workforce by taking the Work Health Survey.

More Information:

How can we create a mental health strategy for our workplace?

What additional resource supports can we offer?

What professional development opportunities can we offer?


Work Health Survey

Mind the Workplace 2018 Report

Mind the Workplace 2019 Report

Back to Employer Resources