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Research and Practice

Mental Health in the Workplace

Approximately one third to one half of all Americans will experience a mental or behavorial health challenge in their lifetime. Since most of life is spent in the working years, the workplace is an ideal setting to promote public health-informed initiatives to prevent and treat these illnesses. As the only department of mental health in a school of public health, we view the workplace as an important opportunity to improve health across the population. Our current plans to establish a center for mental health in the workplace are described further in the Minding Our Businesses brochure.

Our Vision

We envision a society where mental health is as important as physical health. Where depression, anxiety, addiction, and other mental health challenges occur rarely, and when they do, they are openly addressed to minimize their effects on our lives. How could such a world be achieved without involving the workplaces where we spend such a significant portion of our days?

The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health/the Luv U Project Center for Mental Health in the Workplace will provide the first ever academic home for research and development housed in the only school of public health with a department of mental health. Through collaboration with businesses, professional organizations, providers, and government organizations, our academic center will help foster a world with:

  • increased awareness and acceptance of mental health;
  • decreased prevalence of mental illness;
  • increased employee wellness;
  • decreased absenteeism;
  • increased prevention and treatment services; and
  • decreased stigma and consequences of disclosing a mental illness.

As a first step toward this vision, the Department of Mental Health partnered with The Luv u Project to host a symposium on the future of mental health in the workplace. The public symposium brought together experts from academia, government and industry to discuss current challenges and needs for the future. An advisory council was formed that included people from across sectors to advise on next steps. The Advisory Council met after the public symposium to set an agenda and have met virtually at regular intervals ever since. The videos of the talks presented at the public symposium may be viewed below.

Mental Health and Aging

Work in Action

Presentations on the Johns Hopkins-Luv u Project collaboration on workplace mental health


photo of man stretching arms in his chair to take a mental health break at work