HR Director and Lawyer Weighs in on Mental Health in the Workplace

Mental health and the workplace. This phrase, especially in the last two years, has thrust itself into the business-speak hall of fame just like “workplace culture” and “can everyone see my screen?” In all seriousness, it’s about time mental health and how it affects everyone in an organization has a moment in the spotlight. After all, more than 200 million workdays are lost due to mental health conditions each year. And when asked, over half of employees have not spoken to their coworkers or leaders about the issue.

We can all recount feeling overwhelmed at times – personal and family matters needing full attention – and not knowing how much is too much to share with coworkers about our struggles before it becomes “unprofessional.”

So let’s all join in for a big sigh of relief – and gratitude – that the stigma is fading. Not only that, it’s becoming the norm for workplaces to not only acknowledge, but support the outcome of good mental health. 

man smiling in front of a camera
Matthew Davis in his hometown of Wilmington, NC.

Matthew Davis, N2’s Director of Legal and Human Resources, recently shared with us his personal and professional 

motivations for how our organization cares for its people. 

“A number of factors drew me to Human Resources, but chief among them is the opportunity to help serve as a steward of the great people and talents with which this company has been entrusted,” he said. 

“People are our greatest assets and no decisions are more important than people decisions. It is a great honor and duty to be in a role that helps drive business strategy from a people perspective.”


Caring For the Whole Person

“Issues related to mental and emotional health impact an appreciable number of adults in the U.S. Despite this prevalence, symptoms are often left untreated due to unwarranted and outdated stigmas associated with mental health issues,” Matthew continues. “Although we as a company can’t cure mental health or slay all the stigmas associated with it, we can foster a work culture that brings it out of the shadows and lends support to those in need.” 

N2 has offered different versions of care and well-being in the past for team members beyond traditional healthcare packages and insurance, and we’re proud to keep improving upon these offerings year after year. Whether it’s in the form of time with experienced professionals or a walk around the block away from a screen, it’s important to remember we’re all in this together and we all need to prioritize well-being.

Part of N2’s mission is to strengthen the family, so for many years, N2 has offered an annual $400 stipend for W2 team members to use toward promoting healthy marriages. This money could be used for marital counseling or expenses from marriage enrichment seminars, etc. 

The stipend has been reconceived and expanded under HR’s lead this year. It is no longer limited to marriage wellness, but is instead available to all eligible team members (married or not) for professional mental or behavioral health services. 

“We have a team with diverse needs and it’s our goal to provide benefits that care for the whole person.”

Matthew also shared how he personally manages stress and builds resiliency to be the best leader, husband, and father he can be. “Prioritizing sleep and restfulness, physical activity typically in the form of runs, walks, or yard work, and practicing transcendental mindfulness and prayer that turns my thoughts away from myself and toward others and a greater good.”

“Everyone is different and what works for one may not work for another, but at the most fundamental level I think it’s important to remember that we are not alone, and to be mindful of our emotional well-being and purposeful in our self care.” 

We’re glad to see great strides toward caring for people, as people and not just seeing them as dollar signs, in industries all around us. As we continue to search for and offer benefits and services that care for our people, we’ll be proud to add to the conversation of workplace wellness along the way.