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Workplace mental health survey items

Since 2015, Mental Health America (MHA) has conducted ongoing research to understand the positive and negative drivers of employee mental health outcomes. The following survey items had the highest correlations with overall healthy workplace scores. The survey items are categorized by these areas of focus: workplace stress and engagement, mental health and illness, organizational investment, workplace culture, managerial support, and employee empowerment. Survey responses are scored on a 1-6 Likert scale: 1 – Strongly Disagree, 2 – Disagree, 3 – Somewhat Disagree, 4 – Somewhat Agree, 5 – Agree, 6 – Strongly Agree. These survey items are only suggested items and may be redundant or not applicable to your workplace.

  • Work stress negatively affects my sleep.
  • Work stress affects my relationships with friends, family, or coworkers.
  • I miss work because of work stress.
  • My work stress affects my mental health (e.g., depression or anxiety).
  • I engage in unhealthy behaviors (e.g., excessive drinking or crying regularly) to cope with work stress.
  • I am afraid of getting punished for taking a day off to attend to my mental health.
  • My organization provides a safe and supportive environment for employees who live with mental illnesses.
  • I would be comfortable asking my manager or human resources for a mental health accommodation if I needed it.
  • My organization would support me if I needed to take leave for a mental health concern.
  • My organization is invested in its employees' well-being.
  • My organization's leadership speaks openly about mental health in my workplace.
  • My organization invests in developing supportive managers.
  • My organization invests in an inclusive environment where employees of all identities feel valued and represented.
  • I feel acknowledged and accepted at work.
  • I trust my team or coworkers to support my work activities.
  • I tend to work alone because my workplace is unhelpful or hostile.
  • It is safer to remain silent about things that need improvement in my workplace.
  • My workplace is overly focused on trivial activities (e.g., feeling micromanaged or having bureaucratic policies).
  • I find it difficult to concentrate at work.
  • I spend time looking for a new position.
  • My manager cares about my personal well-being.
  • My manager provides emotional support to help me manage my stress.
  • My manager regularly checks on my workplace needs.
  • I receive enough guidance to perform my job well.
  • My manager actively encourages me to take time off when I need it.
  • I am aware of what mental health services I can use when I'm struggling at work.
  • I would be comfortable using my organization's services for a mental health concern.
  • I am comfortable reporting dishonest or unfair practices to human resources or management.
  • I am comfortable providing feedback to my manager about their performance.
  • I can negotiate my responsibilities and workload with my manager.

Alternative methods

If conducting an organizational survey is not feasible, consider these alternative methods to assess worker well-being:

  • Facilitate 1:1 (one-on-one) informal discussions between supervisors and their direct reports at all organizational levels, including the board and C-suite leadership, to better understand your workforce’s mental health needs;
  • Employ small group discussions in the form of huddles, focus groups, or team meetings to foster connection and discuss opportunities to promote mental well-being;
  • Dedicate all-staff, people management, or departmental meetings to discuss solutions that support workers;
  • Conduct organization-wide town hall forums to provide workers with access to leadership and upper management to express mental health concerns;
  • Appoint worker representatives to gather collective staff input and relay information to leadership; or
  • Record and analyze workforce participation in mental health benefits and wellness programs.

Learn more about workplace mental health

Find mental health resources for employers and employees and get your workplace certified.