Bill Seeking Voluntary Mental Health Work Standards Heads to Governor's Desk

August 21, 2018
(SACRAMENTO, CA) – Today, the Legislature passed Senate Bill (SB) 1113, by Senator Bill Monning (D-Carmel), which authorizes the state's Mental Health Services Oversight and Accountability Commission to create voluntary guidelines to combat stigma and normalize the discussion of mental health in the workplace.  
 
“Effective investments in workplace mental health and psychological safety can reduce costs, enhance employee wellbeing, and support organizational success,” Senator Monning said.  “With the support of private businesses, SB 1113 will make California the first state in the nation to establish voluntary mental health standards for the workplace.”
  
For many years, employers have supported physical health in the workplace by establishing spaces to exercise, funding health club memberships, providing healthy snacks, and supporting healthy lifestyles.  In contrast, employers are just beginning to recognize the value of making similar investments in employee mental health and psychological safety in the workplace.
 
Senator Monning notes, “As a state we need to start having conversations regarding mental health.  Too many Californians’ suffer from the crippling crux of mental illness.”
 
Research suggests that employers and employees face significant challenges associated with unmet mental health needs.  Depression alone is understood to result in more than $6,200 in additional healthcare costs and between 6 and 25 days of missed work each year.
 
SB 1113 now heads to the Governor’s desk.